Have you observed blood on your toothbrush or in the sink while brushing your teeth? Or maybe you’ve got an impression that your gums are sensitive and swollen?
Probably, you’ve been dealing with gingivitis, a common condition that affects our gums. Read the article and see what the causes and symptoms of gingivitis are and how you can cope with this problem fast.
What is Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a kind of inflammation of the gum tissue which surrounds our teeth. It may affect only your gums or the teeth as well and that’s why three stages of gums inflammation can be identified. Gingivitis is the mildest and the most curable stage. However, if it’s left untreated, it can lead to more severe stages, which are periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.
In most cases gingivitis doesn’t cause any pain and a lot of people are even unaware that they suffer from the disease. However, it should be treated and prevented in order to maintain your oral cavity in good condition.
Additionally, it has been proved that gingivitis may put you in a higher risk of getting a lung disease, heart attack, or diabetes. It’s also potentially dangerous for pregnant women.
What Are the Causes of Gingivitis
The main factor that leads to gingivitis is plaque that accumulates on our teeth if we don’t brush or floss them thoroughly. Thus, poor oral hygiene is the main reason that causes gingivitis. If a lot of plaque develops in your mouth, it can transform into a harder substance, known as tartar.
Tartar forms at the base of the teeth, it irritates your gums creating a space where more plaque can accumulate on top of the existing tartar and activates even greater irritation to the gum tissue.
Among other causes of gingivitis hormones imbalance is quite common, for example during pregnancy, menopause, puberty, or even during menstruation. When hormonal changes occur in our organism, gums are more sensitive and gingivitis may develop more easily.
Some illnesses might put you in a higher risk of developing gingivitis. They are mainly conditions which are related to the improper working of the immune system, such as HIV or cancer.
People who suffer from diabetes get gingivitis and other infections more often as it influences their organism’s poorer ability to use blood sugar.
Proper formation of saliva in your mouth is extremely important as it naturally protects and cleans your teeth and gums. Some drugs, however, may change the flow of saliva, which makes your gums more susceptible to gingivitis. These are mainly anticonvulsant and anti-angina medicines. The latter ones may also lead to overgrowth of gum tissue.
Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much sweets, and other bad habits create such an environment in your mouth, in which it’s difficult for your gum tissue to regenerate itself.
Gingivitis is sometimes a matter of genetics so if your relatives deal with this problem, you are in a risk group too.
What Are the Symptoms of Gingivitis
In many cases gingivitis doesn’t give any symptoms and you may even be not aware that you suffer from this condition. Similarly, gingivitis may be painless, therefore, it’s important to observe your teeth and gums regularly in order to recognize the signs of the condition.
One of the most visible symptoms of gingivitis is the presence of blood while or after brushing your teeth. You may also notice that your gums are reddish, swollen, or abnormally sensitive to cold or heat.
People who developed gingivitis often struggle with bad breath or unpleasant taste in their mouth.
Other symptoms of gingivitis include loose and shifting teeth, receding gums, development of pockets between gums and teeth, or the presence of pus around your teeth and gums.
Remember that only a doctor may diagnose gingivitis. Thus, if you’ve noticed any of the symptoms described above, go to your dentist.
During the examination of your oral cavity he will check the firmness of your gums. He will also check whether they bleed or are swollen and he will see if the area between your gums and teeth isn’t too big.
Your dentist will also examine the alignment of your teeth and he will see if any of your teeth are loose. Any breakdown of bone surrounding your teeth will also be detected.
During the visit you will not only find out if you suffer from gingivitis, but you will also learn how advanced the condition has become.
How to Get Rid of Gingivitis
It’s always recommended to see your dentist when you suspect that you might have gingivitis. However, while you’re waiting for your appointment, try one the following methods, as they are safe, natural, easy to perform and, for sure, they won’t do any harm to you. They may appear to be very effective, don’t rely only on them, though. The wisest approach is to combine home remedies with dental treatment.
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a traditional method that originates from the Ayurvedic practice. To perform the technique of oil pulling you need one tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil. They have wonderful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties so they can eliminate the bacteria, which are responsible for gingivitis, from your mouth.