How to Treat Gingivitis to Prevent Complications?

Gingivitis is a gum disease where in the gums are affected. Gingivitis results in swollen, inflamed and red gums. The gums become soft, tender and painful and bleeding is observed while brushing of the teeth. It is caused by the bacterial infection which gives rise to plague. Gingivitis is usually painless but the later stage of gingivitis (periodontitis) can be serious and fatal.

What are the possible Causes of gingivitis?

Gingivitis is mostly caused by the build -up of bacterial plague in and around the teeth.  Plague is nothing but a thin, sticky film that sticks on the teeth and the gums. It mostly contains bacteria and food debris.

The accumulation of plague around the teeth can elicit an immune response which can damage the gingival tissues. Dental plague is a natural biofilm that accumulates on the teeth but they can also cause gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.

If plague is not removed properly by brushing, it forms a calculus or tarter below the gum line. This tarter is hard to remove by brushing and can be removed only by a professional dentist. Plague and tarter creates an environment for the bacteria to live and grow.

Other causes of gingivitis include-

  • Hormonal changes- during menopause, puberty, menstruation or pregnancy.
  • Medical issues such as diabetes, cancer, AIDS etc
  • Unhealthy habits like smoking  or chewing of tobacco products
  • Medications such as Dilantin and anti-angina drugs which can reduce the flow of saliva
  • Inadequate brushing or flossing of the teeth
  • Family history can be a hereditary cause
  • Weak immune system, stress and malnutrition
  • Old age

How to treat gingivitis?

Gingivitis can be treated by a professional dentist or a patient can do gingivitis care at home under the guidance of the dentist.  Gingivitis can be treated and cure if the patient detects it in the early stage of infection and immediately follows the treatment procedure. Treatment can be done by a professional dentist and the follow up procedures have to be followed by the patient at home.

  • Thorough cleaning of the tarter: The main aim of this process called scaling is to completely remove the plague and the tarter from the teeth. This is done by a professional. Scaling may be uncomfortable for a patient with sensitive gums or if the plague and calculus has accumulated largely.
  • Antiseptic mouth washes: Doctor may advise an antiseptic mouth washes like chlorohexidine or hexetidine which is in the form of gel or spray. This will help to floss away bacteria from the mouth.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics such as metrinidazole and doxycycline may be prescribed by the dentist to treat the gum infections in case of serious periodontitis.
  • Brushing and flossing: The professional dentist will assess the patient’s brushing and flossing techniques and may give details on the techniques if necessary.
  • Fixing dental related problems: The doctor may fix the dental problems such as bent or misaligned teeth, faulty fitted bridges or crowns etc. These problems may make it difficult to correctly clean the plague.

The follow-up procedures need to be pursue by the patient at home after the removal of the tarter-

  • Brushing teeth regularly twice a day and flossing the teeth after meals
  • Rinsing the mouth after every meal with an antiseptic mouth wash


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