How To Prevent Gingivitis

How To Prevent Gingivitis
Posted on 08/20/2018

Besides tooth decay, gum disease is one of the most common oral health issues that can threaten your smile if left unchecked. Gingivitis is simply the early stage of gum disease, but left untreated, it can develop into a more serious stage called periodontitis, which will wear away the supporting bone of your jaw and could lead to tooth loss. Compared to periodontitis, symptoms of gingivitis are fairly mild, including inflammation, redness, and irritation of the gums However, despite being the symptoms being minor, they are a sign that serves as a warning of what’s to come if you don’t take care of your smile.

What Causes Gingivitis?

The main cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene, since it’s the buildup of plaque on your teeth that leads to the irritation and swelling of the gums. Plaque is a thin, sticky film that is made up of thousands of different types of bacteria that are a product of your saliva breaking down the foods you eat and what you drink. Over time, that plaque transforms into something called tartar, which is a hard, calcified deposit that forms underneath your gum line that collects even more harmful bacteria, while also making it more difficult to clear away the plaque underneath. Both the plaque and tartar will not only irritate your teeth, but also your gingiva, which is the area of your gums right around the base of your teeth, hence the name “gingivitis”.

Preventing Gingivitis

The best way to combat gingivitis is to prevent it from even getting a chance to start forming, but how do you do that? The answer is maintaining a great oral hygiene routine, complete with brushing, flossing, and rinsing. It’s recommended that you brush your teeth at least three times each day for two minutes, floss your teeth once, and rinse for a more thorough clean. A water flosser is also a great oral hygiene tool, as the jet of water it uses to clean your teeth and clear away bacteria can also clean under your gum line, which can prevent the formation of plaque and tartar. Other than your at-home routine, you should also make sure you go to your regularly scheduled dentist appointments every 6 months for a check up and professional dental cleaning, which will clear away any built up plaque on your teeth that you may have missed with your normal regimen.

Schedule Your Check Up Today!

If you have any questions about gingivitis and what you can do to prevent it, or if you’re looking to schedule your next visit for a check up and cleaning, just contact us at the dental office of Dr. Christian Johnson DMD, your local Waldorf, MD dental experts. A member of our staff will be more than happy to help you get the information you need, or get you set up with for your next visit to our office. We look forward to helping you keep your mouth free from gum disease, so you have a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime!