You’ve probably heard of gingivitis. The word quite literally means inflammation of the gums – that means if your gums stop being inflamed, your gingivitis is cured! The signs and symptoms of gingivitis are things you’ve probably experienced: bad breath, bright red or purple gums that feel swollen or tender, and bleeding gums. How do we know it’s likely you’ve had one or many of those symptoms? Simple: the math bears it out. 7 out of 10 Canadians will have some form of gum disease in their lives. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of most gum diseases.
Now that we’ve established what gingivitis is, we can figure out whether or not it’s curable. The short answer is an exciting one: yes, your gingivitis is curable. The effects of early gingivitis can be completely reversed. What’s more, gingivitis is easily reversible – as long as you visit your dentist regularly.
Gingivitis is a simple disease. It’s almost always caused by excessive plaque and tartar getting under your gums and irritating them. This plaque and tartar is a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria that are bad for your health. A feedback loop is created: more tartar leads to more bacteria, which leads to more tartar – all of which leads to more gingivitis.
That means curing gingivitis can be as simple as getting rid of that tartar and plaque. How can you do that? Visit your Winnipeg dentist and get a cleaning done. While you can remove plaque on your own, tartar is something that can only be removed by a professional. Tartar is actually, quite literally, plaque that’s become too hard to remove with a toothbrush.
While having regular dental appointments is the best way to cure gingivitis, there’s a much better way of “curing” gingivitis – don’t get it in the first place. You’ve heard the age-old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s as true for your oral health as it is for anything else.
If you don’t have gingivitis yet, or if you developed gingivitis and it’s been cured, your best line of defense is a great oral health care routine. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush twice a day, and floss once a day. When your technique is good, you’ll be able to get rid of plaque before it turns into tartar.
Not everyone has good technique – that’s okay too. The ADA has a good video on how to brush your teeth; check it out, and practice mindfully brushing your teeth. Most of us brush out of habit – really try to get into the feeling of it. Put on a timer and make sure you’re brushing for two full minutes – that can seem silly, but it’s a good idea to improve your habits. You can do it!