Treating Gingivitis at Home
The word gingivitis can be broken into two segments, which are gingiva and -itis. Gingiva refers to the gum tissue and the suffix –itis means inflammation. Gingivitis describes a situation in which your gum issues become inflamed due to the accumulation of plaque and oral bacteria.
Dr. Taher Dhoon, a dentist in Greeley, CO, explains that this early form of gum disease can be treated at home. Before you look for home remedies for gingivitis, ask yourself the following questions to assess how much you are doing to prevent the condition from developing:
- Am I brushing at least two times each day?
- Have I tried using an electric toothbrush in order to improve how well I brush my teeth?
- Does my toothbrush have extra-soft (or at least soft) bristles?
- Do I replace my toothbrush every three months?
- Do I floss daily?
- Do I see my dentist for a dental exam at least once each year?
- Do I smoke or chew tobacco?
- Have I limited the amount of sugar and sugary substances that I consume?
The assessment above will help you to plug any loopholes in your oral hygiene and stop your gingivitis from getting worse.
Treating Gingivitis: Improve Your Brushing Technique
Brushing at least twice each day can set the foundation for good oral hygiene. However, Dr. Dhoon cautions that you must brush correctly in order to reap the oral care benefits of this activity.
You can improve how you brush by implementing four changes to your routine;
- Increase the duration you take while brushing. Start by brushing your teeth thoroughly for at least two minutes. Spend a minimum of 30 seconds brushing the teeth in each quadrant of your mouth. In this way, all your teeth will get equal attention as you brush.
- Switch to an electric toothbrush. Did you know that some electric toothbrush models can deliver thousands of strokes each minute while you use this toothbrush to clean your teeth? Electric toothbrushes are a superior tool for brushing your teeth and you will be less likely to develop gingivitis. The plaque accumulations will also be removed from your teeth.
- Pay attention to all parts of your teeth. If you are fighting gingivitis at home, it is important for you to brush all the surfaces of your teeth. This includes the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and on top of the back teeth.
- Vary how you hold your toothbrush. Change the way you hold your toothbrush so that you can optimize how well you are brushing. For example, you may at times have to hold the toothbrush vertically in order to reach certain surfaces of the teeth.
Treating Gingivitis: Use a Water Flosser
Flossing removes the plaque sticking between your teeth. Some people don’t use string floss properly and use a water flosser or Waterpik instead. We asked our friend, Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, LA, about using a water flosser to improve your oral health. Dr. Kacos suggests following these three steps below to get the best out of your water flosser.
- Begin with the lowest water pressure setting. Some people notice a little bleeding when they first use a water flosser. This is especially likely when those people have gingivitis. Dr. Dhoon explains that a low water pressure setting minimizes the likelihood of bleeding and you will be more open to continuing to use this type of flosser.
- Use lukewarm water. This will ensure that the flossing experience is a comfortable one.
- Position your mouth correctly and place the tip in your mouth. The best position to take is to bend your face over the sink. In this posture, open your mouth and point the water flosser’s tip at an angle of 90 degrees. With the tip in your mouth, turn on the unit.
Treating Gingivitis: Use Mouthwash Regularly
You also stand a higher chance of winning your fight against gingivitis if you use mouthwash on a regular basis. Mouthwash not only freshens your breath but also kills any bacteria that could be multiplying in your mouth. Dr. Dhoon recommends that you use an alcohol-free mouthwash. Mouthwash that contains alcohol can dry your mouth and trigger other problems.
If the suggestions above don’t help resolve your gingivitis, contact Dr. Dhoon immediately so that he can get you in for periodontal disease treatment. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to advanced periodontal disease and cost you your teeth.