It's one of those things you don't want to get, but do you really know what it is? Gingivitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the gums. In fact, one of the reasons you should brush twice a day, and floss once a day is to prevent gingivitis.
Gingivitis begins with plaque, a clear, sticky substance that forms on your teeth every day. Plaque contains bacteria that cause gingivitis and tooth decay, which is why it is essential to brush and floss each day. If plaque is left unchecked, it will eventually harden into tartar, which can only be professionally removed.
Warning signs of gingivitis
Your gums may be a bit red and bleed when you brush, but you may not notice anything. The warning signs of gingivitis are puffy gums, traces of blood on your toothbrush, or a change in the colour of your gums, but it is not painful. The good news is gingivitis can be prevented and if started, it can be reversed.
You can fight gingivitis
Take these five simple steps to prevent gingivitis and to maintain good oral health:
Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day with toothpaste and floss once a day to remove plaque between teeth. After flossing, roll it up in a tiny ball and put it in the garbage. Never flush floss down the toilet. When choosing oral health care products, check for the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) Seal of Recognition.
Products bearing this Seal have been reviewed by CDA and have demonstrated specific oral health benefits.
- Check your gums regularly. Look for the warning signs of gingivitis and report them to your dentist right away.
- See your dentist for regular dental exams, and schedule a professional cleaning to remove stains and built-up tartar.
- Eat healthy foods for your oral health as well as your overall health. Eating excess sugar is one of the primary causes of dental problems. With the proper nutrients that come from healthy eating and proper oral hygiene, you can fight cavities and gingivitis.
- Don't smoke. Smoking is a major contributor to dental problems and may cause oral cancer.
Canadians of all ages need preventive dental care. Your dentist has the training, clinical skill and knowledge to diagnose your oral health condition and advise you on appropriate treatment and care. For more information on keeping your teeth and gums healthy, talk to your dentist.
Fight gingivitis: brush twice, floss once
Provided you look after them, your teeth and gums will look good and stay healthy for life. Brush twice daily, floss once a day and see your dentist regularly for optimum oral health.