Nearly half of all Americans have gingivitis (gum disease), even though it is preventable. Gingivitis can cause swelling, redness, irritation, and deep pockets that form between your gums and your teeth. Untreated, this early stage of gum disease can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and is also a risk factor for heart and lung diseases.
What is gingivitis?
You likely already know that gingivitis is a form of gum disease, but you may not know exactly what that means. When you don’t brush, floss, and make regular dental appointments consistently, the plaque and bacteria on your teeth can build up and harden into tartar.
Tartar is a hard film that can only be removed by a dentist. If you don’t have plaque and tartar removed, it builds up under your gum line creating deeper pockets, redness, irritation, swelling, pain, and a receding gum line, and eventually, even tooth loss.
The best thing that you can do to limit your risk of gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and keeping your regularly scheduled dental appointments with our team every six months.
You’ll want to make a few lifestyle changes as well. If you’re a smoker then you’ll need to quit, as smokers are seven times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
Also, limit your intake of sugary and processed foods and replace with a diet based around lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables are also helpful.
You may also want to add more vitamin C to your diet. Studies show that vitamin C not only prevents gum disease but can also help treat the condition after it’s developed. You can take a vitamin C supplement, or try adding more vitamin C-rich foods to your diet such as citrus fruit, sweet potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes.
Finally, water is incredibly helpful in preventing gingivitis as it keeps your gums lubricated and protected. So, be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.
For gingivitis and all your oral health issues, schedule an appointment at also request an appointment through our website.