What is gingivitis? This is a question many people have begun to ask in recent years. One of the things that prompted this question was the advertising of certain mouthwashes that they kill the germs that cause this disease. However, the truth of those claims is limited. Gingivitis is actually the first stage of periodontal disease.
What is Gingivitis? - Warning Symptoms of Gum Disease
At this stage, gingivitis symptoms usually include the following:
- Swollen and tender gums that are red
- Bleeding gums (especially after brushing or flossing)
- Little or no pain unless pressure is applied to the gums
- Receding Gums (this means it is much more serious)
What is Gingivitis? - Risk Factors for Periodontal disease
The most common risk factor that leads to the development of gum disease is poor dental hygiene according to the US National Library of Medicine. Those who do not brush their teeth properly and floss to remove plaque invite the buildup of bacteria that will cause this disease to develop. One should brush and floss at least twice daily to remove plaque and kill germs.
However, this disease can develop in people who practice ideal hygiene. If the teeth are misaligned, rough edges, fillings, and improperly cleaned appliances such as braces can harbor the germs that cause it and hide them from a toothbrush. There are also some medical conditions that can cause it to develop. The advent of adolescence is the most common of these according to government studies.
Hormonal changes that result from entering puberty are responsible for a large number of cases. Becoming pregnant can also lead to cases developing because of hormonal changes. In addition, certain birth control pills (hormones) can be responsible.
Some systemic infections and diseases such uncontrolled diabetes may contribute to the number of cases seen as well. There are also a few medications that can be contributing factors. Bismuth and phenytoin are examples of these.
Hazards of Fluoride and Other Chemicals
One of the most common chemical substances used to treat this condition and as a preventative is fluoride. However, it is important to note that fluoride has been accepted by the American Dental Association as a preventative for cavities. Yet, long term exposure to this chemical has been shown to weaken both the teeth and bones.
Short-term exposure has been shown to be somewhere between lead and arsenic in terms of toxicity. Fluoride has even been used as an active ingredient in poisons designed to eliminate rodents. Long term exposure to even small doses has led to severe chronic conditions including brittle bones, fractures, and arthritis. There is a reason the following required label of dental products exists:
Why would you put poison in your mouth and that of your family when there is a natural fluoride-free option available for safe daily use.
Anti-inflammatory medications, such as naproxen sodium and ibuprofen can be used to reduce inflammation in the gums. However, these medications come with their own adverse effects. These include damage to the stomach lining that can lead to ulcers and links have recently been uncovered to heart disease and death in some patients.
Alcohol in most mouthwashes can lead to dryness in the mouth. This creates an environment that bacteria thrive in, often making the condition worse. Fortunately, there are effective methods of cleaning the teeth and treating the mouth to combat gingivitis.
How to Treat Gingivitis
Regular Dental Hygiene
The first line treatment for this condition is having the teeth professionally cleaned to remove all tartar and plaque buildup. In many cases, this may mean scraping the teeth with a sharp pick. Such treatment can be painful, but this is temporary.
Proper and careful oral hygiene is required to follow any professional cleanings. It will take some time for the gums to close the gaps left between them and the teeth following scraping. This will leave pockets in which bacteria can hide and thrive. Brushing, flossing, and use of alcohol free antibacterial mouth rinses will be needed.
Regular Dental Visits
A visit to an orthodontist is recommended to correct any misalignments that may exist in the teeth. In addition, any appliances worn in the mouth may need to be removed and sterilized or replaced. This will eliminate hiding places for bacteria.
Maintain Overall Health
Any medical conditions that have been linked to gingivitis should be identified and treated by a physician. This will aid in limiting the opportunities for bacteria to grow and spread, limiting the occurrence of the disease.
Maintain Overall Good Habits
Salt water rinses may be used to reduce inflammation. This is a natural approach that works especially well with warm water. It does not carry any of the side effects known to be associated with NSAID drugs.
Watch what you eat. Avoid sugar-laden foods. Stop smoking and make sure you keep up daily habits. Gingivitis turns into periodontitis over time, therefore, you must adopt a lifestyle change regarding oral hygiene.
Use Chemical-Free Products that Kill Bacteria
If you can find a product that is free of the chemicals mentioned above it is a good start. However, you need to find something that will actually kill and control the bacteria, which is doing the damage locally in your gum line and teeth. Botanical oils such as spearmint and peppermint in specific measurements are very effective at this and have historical been used.
Natural Prevention of Gum Disease
It has been shown that the standard products most people use to clean their teeth contain chemicals that are actually harmful to their health. This includes most toothpastes and mouthwashes on the market today. Fortunately, there are natural products that are effective at cleaning the teeth without using these chemical products.
These products do not contain any fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate (a harsh chemical that irritates the skin) or other chemicals. None of the ingredients have been shown to be harmful to humans or animals in any way. However, they do blend to create effective cleaning agents and natural antimicrobials.
Replacing the toxic products with natural ones and making a deliberate commitment to practice good oral hygiene is the best way to keep from developing gum disease. Keeping the mouth healthy will also serve to improve one's smile and increase self esteem.
Understanding what is gingivitis is the first key to avoiding it. It is the earliest form of gum disease to develop and can have many different causes. In addition to poor oral hygiene, there are medical conditions that can lead to its development. Proper hygiene is the best way to prevent it. However, the standard products on the market can actually cause more problems than they solve. There are natural products available that do not carry any of the side effects or harmful ones found in the normal products.
Discover a natural solution that is effective to ward off gingivitis. Take control of your health now. Discover more about how to treat gingivitis.