Gingivitis is a common and mild form of disease of the gums or mild infection. Anyone can develop gingivitis but some people are not aware that they have this disease. Gingivitis causes redness, irritation, swelling and puffiness of the gums. The affected person might lose a tooth or have bad breath, receding gums and gums that are tender with bleeding especially when brushing and flossing.
Gingivitis is usually caused by poor hygiene that results to the formation of plaque in the teeth. Plaque is an invisible sticky film with bacteria which causes irritation of the gums and teeth.
- Soft and puffy gums
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Tenderness of the gums
- The gums are bleeding easily when brushing and flossing and can be seen as redness on the toothbrush or floss.
- The color of the gums appears dusky red
- Bad breath
- Gingivitis can be caused by the buildup of bacterial plaque that develops between and around the teeth. Once the plaque is not eliminated properly, it results to the build-up of calculus or tartar which has a yellow tint found at the foundation of the teeth close to the gums. The tartar is hard to remove which requires an appointment with a dentist. After some time, the plaque and tartar can lead to the irritation of the gums.
- Gingivitis can also be caused by hormonal changes which occur during puberty, menopause, menstrual cycle and pregnancy. The gingiva is more sensitive during this period and susceptible to inflammation.
- Individuals suffering from underlying conditions such as diabetes, cancer and HIV are susceptible to develop gingivitis.
- If an individual smokes regularly, it puts the individual at high risk for developing gingivitis than non-smokers.
- People with parents who have gingivitis are susceptible to develop the gum condition.
- Maintain a regular dental cleaning schedule for the teeth.
- Use a soft toothbrush and replace the old toothbrush at least every 3-4 months.
- Using salt is beneficial for gingivitis. Salt has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help in treating inflamed and swollen gums. Salt also eliminates infections in abscesses and prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth. In a glass of filled with lukewarm water, add ½ teaspoon of salt and mix them well until salt is completely dissolved. Use this solution in rinsing the mouth at least once in the morning and another in the evening until the swelling is completely minimized.
- Mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water and mix well to create a paste and then apply on the gums. Leave it on for at least 1-2 minutes and then rinse it off using warm water. Use this treatment for at least 2-3 weeks.
- Mix a juice of a lemon in a glass filled with warm water. Use this mixture as a mouthwash after brushing the teeth. Perform this treatment at least twice every day to help relieve the bleeding and receding gums due to gingivitis.
- Extract the pulp from a fresh aloe Vera leaf and then rub it directly on the affected gums. Leave it on the gums for at least 10 minutes and then gargle with cold water.