Gingivitis refers to a periodontal disease that does not have destructive capability. It is an inflammation that occurs on gum tissue. In most cases, this disease results from a reaction of the body towards bacterial infections. This happens when bacteria affects gum tissue making a biofilm known as plaque. The biofilm forms adjacent to the surface of the teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis will spread to periodontitis. This is a more destructive condition of this disease. However, there are cases when this disease does not progress to the periodontitis. An individual may live with gingivitis without ever progressing but it is still advisable to seek medication. Basically, there are two major categories of this disease. These are the dental plaque and the non-plaque gingivitis.
Dental plaque is the category of the induced gingival infections. These include sub categories of infections that have plaque association; those modified though medication and those resulting from systematic factors. There are also dental plaque diseases that results from malnutrition. Non-plaque category of gingivitis has eight sub categories. These include those of bacterial, viral, fungal and genetic origin. There are also infections that result from body reaction towards external infections, and also systematic conditions.
Causes of Gingivitis
There are many factors that can lead to development of this medical condition. They include the following;
- Failing to take care of your mouth by not brushing your teeth daily.
- Using dental appliances that are not fitting you properly.
- Poor dietary.
- Poor alignment of the teeth.
- Heavy deposit of plaque.
- Drug reactions.
- Blood disorders.
- Deficiency of important vitamins.
- Bacterial infection. Basically, plaque comprises of mucus bacteria and food particles.
- People with diabetes, leukemia or aids are more likely to develop gingivitis than others.
- Other factors also increase the risk of developing gingivitis. They include pregnancy, female contraceptives, smoking, puberty and menopause.
- There are also medications that are associated with this condition. They include cyclosporine, phenytoin and channel blockers for calcium.
Pregnant women with gum problems have a greater risk of developing gingivitis as a result of hormonal changes. Changes in hormone balance combines with tartat provoking growth of the gum tissue. There are cases when lumps may form resulting to easy bleeding of the gums. Some people call it pregnancy tumor. However, this condition is not related to cancer. This lump makes brushing of some parts of the gum difficult. This may lead to more bacterial infections.
A painful post menopausal condition can also develop in women due to changes in hormonal balance. This results from wearing out of the outer layer of the gums. Gums may wear out making teeth lose solidarity. In this case, the disease can be painful especially if some nerves are left exposed. However, the major cause of gingivitis is failure to take good care of the teeth and gums. This is because this leads to bacterial accumulation since they feed on food particles in the mouth. Bacterial also hide from the excessive gums that grow after the infection.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
There are different signs that can indicate infection of gingivitis. However, the rate at which these symptoms show themselves depends on the level of infection and the type of infection. It may also depend on the factors that are causing infections. Nevertheless, there are major symptoms that are common in most cases of infection. They include the following:
- Bleeding of gums especially when and after brushing teeth.
- Having a bad breath.
- Bad taste in the mouth.
- Sometimes gums become swollen without apparent reason.
- Having tender gums.
- Red-purple or bright red appearance on the gums.
- Having sores in the mouth.
- Having swollen gums.
- Receding gums.
- Difficulties in swallowing.
- Difficulties in breathing when infections are severe.
- Teeth may get worn out or even lose their firm and eventually come out.
- Severe bleeding of gums when infections are severe.
- Visible excessive growth of the gum.
Gingivitis Home Remedies
There are many home remedies that have been known to help with gingivitis. They include the following; Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies and herbal remedies that you can try.
- Essential Oils– Use of essential oil products.
- Saline– Use of saline solution. This should consist of a salt pinch put in lukewarm water. Once glass of water gargled daily will reduce this swelling of the gums.
- Clove Oil– Use of clove oil to rub gums. The clove can also be kept in the mouth for a while.
- Antibacterial Toothpaste– Anti-bacterial products can also be used in cleaning the mouth. These include products such as toothpaste with anti-bacterial properties.
- Try this – You can also use chamomile tincture, menthol or peppermint. There is also toothpaste that has sage oil that can be used in the treatment of this condition.
- Vitamin C– Meals rich in vitamin C can help in dealing with this condition. Therefore, one should take high amounts of vegetables and fruits.
- Avoid stress- This is because stress leads to accumulation of plaque.
- Brush Your Teeth Regularly– Brush your teeth every time you eat something. Make sure that there is no food particles left on the gums or teeth. This is because these offer bacteria place to settle causing damage on the gum and the teeth.
- Myrr- Myrr has a lot of properties-first; it’s an anti-microbial with powerful antiseptic properties that make it the perfect remedy for treating gingivitis. Its gum, resin and volatile oil have various stimulating and detoxifying effects that soothe and repair the gum structure, effectively battling the agents that cause gingivitis.
- Chamomile- Chamomile is considered a universal remedy, based on the fact that it treats a variety of ailments. The flowers of this plant provide a potent treatment for gingivitis, providing an anti-inflammatory response that helps in the healing process. It also acts as a natural analgesic-or painkiller, with antiseptic qualities that make it useful in battling many disease causing agents.
- Sage- Sage is another highly effective treatment. It not only treats gingivitis, but is also very effective against inflammations that occur in the mouth, throat and within the tonsil cavity. It’s antiseptic qualities makes it a perfect natural treatment for gingivitis, while it’s vast blend of volatile oil compounds make help to soothe the mucous membranes, making it just as effective when used as a mouthwash.
- Echinacea– Adding a few drops of Echinacea to your mouth wash or tea and you are guaranteed an effective remedy for gingivitis. This herbal extract has anti bacterial properties that help battle gingivitis, and go a step further in giving you the added advantage of improved immunity. Echinacea tincture helps to soothe the gum surface, reduce inflammation and, most importantly, to treat mouth ulcers. It is one of the most sought after herbal remedies, based on the fact that it has one of the most elaborate success rates in the treatment of many conditions.
- Blood Root– Another age old oral antiseptic is the Blood root. This herbal extract forms the main ingredient in many oral hygiene products, with its dried rhizome containing red resin, among other alkaline and acidic compounds that are useful in treating gingivitis.
Diet for Gingivitis
Being careful on what you eat can help you deal with gingivitis or avoid it. This is because proper dietary acts as natural defense by strengthening the immune system. Proper diet for gingivitis entails the following;
- Eating foods rich in vitamin C. These include strawberries, kiwis, oranges, broccoli, and cantaloupe. Make sure that the food you eat supplies you with vitamin c ranging between 500 mg and 1000 mg per day.
- Avoid foods with too much sugar. These include soda and other beverages with high amounts of sugar. Taking little amounts of sweetened beverages will reduce your risk of developing gingivitis.
- Also keep inflammation at its minimum levels by drinking sufficient amounts of water.
- Drink cranberry juice. About four ounces per day. This helps in preventing further building up of bacteria on the teeth
- Eat foods that boost your immune system.
- Include Probiotics foods or supplements in your diet. This helps in combating inflammatory processes. Probiotics milk is on example of such foods.
Generally, eating a healthy diet is very important in dealing with gingivitis. In most cases, poor diet results to weakening of the immune system. This makes it hard for it to fight bacterial infections. In addition, eating sugary food and failing to take care of your mouth makes your teeth and gums conducive for bacterial infections.
Prevention of Gingivitis
Gingivitis can be prevented when one has the right information. Basically, one of the best ways of preventing this medical condition is by ensuring proper oral hygiene. This is because most cases of gingivitis results from poor oral hygiene. This prevents building up of plaque. The process of ensuring proper oral hygiene includes the following;
- Brushing your teeth after every meal. Make sure while brushing your teeth you also brush the gum. However, this should be done using a soft brush to avoid damaging the gum.
- Floss between the teeth after brushing. This is very important because it gets rid of food particles and bacteria that could be in areas where the brush could not reach. One of the best ways of avoiding gingivitis is by cleaning every part of the mouth.
- Use water picks. These scours food particles and plaque away in places that toothbrush could not clean. Use of warm salt water is recommended to help in preventing bacterial accumulation.
- A strong mouth wash should also be gargled in the mouth. This helps in clearing bacteria or food particles that can lead to gingivitis infections. It also helps in avoiding bad breath.
- Using baking soda in little water and hydrogen peroxide can also help in preventing bacteria and plaque from spreading. This should be used in polishing teeth using gentle abrasives.
- You can also prevent gingivitis by kneading your gums. You do this by placing your thumb behind teeth, then gently rubbing gums using the forefinger.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking weakens the immune system while facilitating the spread of bacteria responsible for gingivitis.
Gingivitis can be prevented if proper oral hygiene is observed. You should also be keen on what you eat and drink to avoid bacterial infections.
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