Bleeding, sore or swollen gums? This may be a sign of early gum disease, known as gingivitis. But if you take precaution and practice healthy oral hygiene, you may be able to prevent gum disease from striking!
Brushing, flossing and rinsing with a daily mouthwash reduces plaque to help keep gums healthy. Scheduling regular six-month dental checkups are also key to keeping your mouth clean and healthy.
How Is Gingivitis Treated?
The most crucial step in treating gingivitis is to not ignore symptoms that may seem harmless. These include bleeding, irritated, inflamed or sore gums. If you notice these symptoms of gum diesease, make a visit to your dentist to identify the cause and to get your teeth and gums assessed. Your dentist may recommend an improved daily home-care regimen for your teeth, including adding an antibacterial mouthwash like Listerine® Total Care Gum Protect Milder Taste Mouthwash to your routine. If pockets of bacteria have formed around your teeth and your gums are beginning to recede, you may need your dentist or periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gums) to do a deep clean. The good news is that this early, mild stage of gum disease can be easily prevented. That said, if it goes untreated and ignored, gingivitis can develop into advanced stage gum disease (periodontitis), which is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults.
Tips on how to prevent and treat gum disease
Gum disease is a mouth infection caused by germs which cling to gums and teeth. If your gums are puffy or bleed when you brush, you might have gingivitis. If left untreated, it may advance as a result in severe gum and bone damage. This advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. To ensure oral health, always follow the three-step oral care routine: brush, floss and rinse daily.
- Give Your Mouth an Improved Routine
Gum disease usually strikes when we slack on our oral care routine. If you have early-stage gum disease, you simply need to upgrade your routine to the three-step regimen: brush, floss, and rinse daily. Brushing after meals, flossing and swishing with antibacterial mouthwash twice daily can stop gingivitis in its tracks. Also schedule regular dental checkups, because when plaque develops into tartar, it can only be removed with professional cleanings. Early gum infection is preventable if you swiftly take action.
- Use an Expert Antibacterial Mouthwash
Rinse with a mouthwash made specifically to defend against gingivitis and prevent gum problems. Listerine® Total Care Gum Protect Milder Taste Mouthwash fights germs above and below the gum line to help prevent plaque and give you 2x healthier gums vs brushing alone. Use it twice daily for stronger teeth and healthier gums in 2 weeks.
- Get a Thorough Cleaning
If sticking to improved oral health routines isn’t reversing gum disease symptoms, you likely have a more advanced infection where deep, hard-to-reach bacteria pockets have formed around the base of your teeth. A deep cleaning by a dentist or periodontist every 6 months is the best way to rid your mouth of tartar.
- Pick up Medicated Reinforcements
If problems persist, you may need antibiotics to fully eradicate the infection-causing microorganisms in your mouth. These range from topical gels to antibiotic mouthwashes.
Seek Expert Advice
To treat more advanced forms of gum infection, dentists may recommend one of the several types of gum surgery - or even a combination of them - to remove deep pockets and inflammation. Options include flap surgery (where gums are lifted away from the teeth, tartar is removed and gums are sutured back around the teeth); soft-tissue grafts (which replace worn-away gums to cover exposed roots); bone grafts (to replace lost bone with grafts from humans or animals, or even man-made materials); and tissue regeneration (to try to grow back lost bone). These procedures are quite complex – gum disease is easier to prevent than treat!
Also read: Causes of gingivitis and gum disease