Minor gum inflammation

Minor Gum Inflammation

Minor gum inflammation, typically referred to as gingivitis, is a common and mild form of gum disease. Gingivitis occurs when your gums become irritated, swollen, or infected due to plaque build-up. Plaque is a sticky substance composed of bacteria, saliva, and food particles. It can build up along and under the gumline, that's why brushing and flossing are so important.

An untreated case of gingivitis can lead to more serious cases of gum disease like periodontitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. Common causes of gingivitis include an overly aggressive brushing technique, smoking, poor dental hygiene, plaque build-up due to overcrowded or misaligned teeth, certain diseases or medications, and other oral habits like biting your lip or cheeks.

Treating Minor Inflammation

The goal of treating minor gum inflammation is to reduce the amount of plaque that is causing it. It is very important to brush twice daily and floss once a day. Consider upgrading to a power toothbrush with a softer bristle head. It can be more effective in removing plaque from hard to reach places.

Your dentist may suggest deep cleaning in the form of scaling and root planing. This procedure involves the removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline. Your dentist may also prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic to help eradicate any bacteria present in your mouth.

Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

To prevent minor gum inflammation from becoming more severe, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. Here are some tips to help:

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
  • Take advantage of mouthwash to reduce germs and freshen breath
  • Avoid smoking
  • Visit your dentist every six months for checkups

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and can be completely reversed. With proper brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist, you can avoid more serious gum diseases that can cause an irreversible loss of teeth.