Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis are among the most common oral health problems in the world. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 22% or around 1 in 5 children aged 5-14 years had gingivitis while 20% of adults suffered from the same disease.
What is Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a first stage gum disease that is characterised by an inflammation of the gum tissue. It is rarely painful at the onset of the disease so many people fail to realize that they have it until the symptoms progress.
Symptoms of gingivitis include irritation, redness and swelling of the gums around the base of your teeth or the gingiva. You may also experience bad breath and bleeding when brushing your teeth. If you encounter any of these, go and see your dentist immediately.
If left untreated, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, a severe inflammatory disease that destroys the soft tissue of your gums. It can cause tooth loss, changes in the way your teeth fit into your gums, and other complications.
What Causes Gingivitis
This gum disease is mostly caused by plaque, a biofilm that contains bacteria and food debris. It usually forms on your teeth when sugar and starch from your food interact with the bacteria in your mouth.
When plaque is not addressed, it can harden and turn into tartar which provides a protective shield for bacteria along the gum line. To remove the tartar, you would need to undergo a professional dental cleaning process. Plaque and tartar that are not removed can irritate your gum line, thereby causing gingivitis.
Smokers, those with poor oral care habits and dry mouth and people with weak immunity and vitamin C deficiency are more at risk to have gingivitis. But with awareness and with simple practices we outlined below, this disease can be prevented.
5 Ways to Prevent Gingivitis
1) Maintain a healthy diet
If you want to maintain good oral health, you have to be mindful of what you eat. After all, overall health has an impact on your oral health.
To start, avoid food and drinks that are high in sugar as they encourage plaque growth that can eventually cause oral health problems. As discussed earlier, sugar and bacteria when combined forms plaque that causes gingivitis.
Then, eat a balanced and nutritious diet with vitamins and minerals that your body needs to boost your immunity. If your body is strong, it’ll help prevent various complications such as gum disease. Gum infections also tend to heal faster if you have strong immunity. If you can, try adding more calcium, vitamin B12 and C into your diet as they are specifically good for the gums.
Lastly, keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of water so your body can produce more saliva which helps fight bacteria.
2) Develop good oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene is your primary defense against plaque, bacteria and of course oral health problems such as gingivitis. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Use a brush that has soft bristles so it won't irritate your gum. And, remember to replace your brush every three months or earlier to keep it clean.
In addition to brushing your teeth, floss daily and wash with mouthwash to clean areas that are not reachable by your brush. To thoroughly remove plaque, wrap your floss around both sides of each tooth and do a push-pull motion.
3) Have a regular cleaning and check-up with your dentist
Prevent tartar build-up that can cause gingivitis by having oral prophylaxis or thorough cleaning every six months. And if you’re feeling something unusual related to your oral health, don’t self-medicate and consult your doctor immediately.
4) Stop smoking
As mentioned earlier, smokers are more at risk to gingivitis as tobacco products are harmful to your gum issues. Smoking also weakens your body’s immune system which can make it difficult for you to fight off gingivitis. So, if you’re a smoker, consider quitting gradually. If you’re a non-smoker, keep it up!
5) Use Lumoral twice a week
Take your oral hygiene to a new level with the most effective mouth rinse on the market. The light-activated method prevents gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth decay and slows down plaque formation.
Lumoral is a safe, proven and easy to use method for improved oral health. Regular use prevents gum inflammation. It eliminates unhealthy bacteria causing tooth decay, supporting healthy flora and gum health.
Use Lumoral twice a week before brushing your teeth for improved dental hygiene and healthy gums.