Gingivitis (the first level of gum disease) is one of Australia’s most common health problems, and it hurts the oral and overall health of Australians across the country. It is also easily overlooked, and commonly not treated.
This is quite dangerous, as recent research has uncovered relationships between gum disease and a range of chronic health problems including arthritis, diabetes, dementia, stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
While researchers have not yet determined the precise causative relationship between gingivitis and these other systemic diseases, their studies do demonstrate that oral health has an effect that goes far beyond keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.
In addition, if caught early, gingivitis can be treated easily. The question is how will you identify your gingivitis early, and what will you do to defend against it? The first step towards defeating gingivitis is knowing what causes it and how to prevent the disease’s development.
To help you with that task, Smiles Nambour wants to share with you what you need to know about gingivitis – it’s symptoms, risk factors, how to avoid it, and treatment.
Causes Of Gingivitis
The most common culprit in gingivitis, by a large margin, is inadequate home oral hygiene that allows plaque to form on the teeth and gums. Plaque develops as starches and sugars in food are consumed by the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. Because plaque can be prevented by normal good dental habits, they are the best line of first defence. Proper brushing and flossing your teeth eliminates plaque, but brushing and flossing must be performed regularly as plaque can form extremely quickly, often within 24 hours, and certainly within 2-3 days.
Plaque that is allowed to remain on your teeth can form under your gumline into tartar (calculus). This is unfortunate on several counts. Tartar provides a defence for plaque, making plaque harder to remove. Tartar also creates a protective shield for bacteria, which allows it to build even more plaque and tartar. Once tartar is in place, it cannot be removed at home— you’ll need to visit Smiles Nambour to get it removed.
As plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, they irritate your gingiva, the section of your gums that wrap around your teeth. This results in inflammation, bleeding, and can cause more serious complications including loose teeth and tooth loss!
Dealing with Gingivitis
Defeating gingivitis has to do with simple prevention tactics to prevent it, and dental treatment to roll it back.
Everyone has heard the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For gingivitis, this is doubly true. To fight it we must try to eliminate as many potential causes as possible.
Here are a few things you can do at home to battle against gingivitis:
- Good dental hygiene is the simplest way to protect your gums, teeth, and the bones in the jaw. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once a day. If you can brush your teeth after meals, that is even better.
- Stop using tobacco products. When you stop using tobacco products, you help your teeth and gums and your overall health as well! Improved overall health also supports your teeth and gums.
- People with diabetes should be sure blood sugar levels are in the right ranges. In fact, any chronic disease, can increase the chances of gingivitis.
- Ask your doctor if your medications may cause gum problems.
- Visit your Smiles Nambour dentist regularly.
If your only symptoms are slight inflammation and/or bleeding gums, the first step is to brush and floss your teeth as Smiles Nambour recommends. Our hygienists will be happy to give you a refresher course on how to brush and floss most effectively.
We may also recommend a mouth rinse. During routine check-ups we will also inspect your mouth, teeth, tongue, and gums to be certain you don’t have any symptoms of gum or other diseases.
The most important and easiest treatment is having Smiles Nambour perform routine dental cleanings biannually. Cleanings remove the hard calculus deposits from your teeth. Because routine brushing and flossing don’t remove calculus, we strongly recommend prevention so!
Of course, it’s best to not get to the point that you need treatment from us – so focus on that at-home prevention!
Dentistry at Smiles Nambour
Smiles Nambour is the perfect choice for dental care in the Nambour area. We provide top-notch dental services of all kinds to patients of every age! Our professional staff is dedicated to providing you with personalised, quality dental care.
Smiles Nambour offers a comprehensive array of general, restorative, and cosmetic dental services for you and your loved ones.
A visit to Smiles Nambour is an investment in your dental health and attractive smile!
Call (07) 5441 4438 or visit us at 4/104 Currie St in Nambour.