Gingivitis – Will My Gums Heal?
The short answer is yes
But first, let’s look at what this bacterial disease is. Gingivitis is when the gums appear red, puffy and often bleed during brushing or flossing. It’s caused by the overgrowth of bacteria at and below the gum line. The body reacts to these bacteria and by increasing blood flow which causes the gums to swell and bleed. Basically, when you haven’t brushed well and there is too much plaque this is how your body reacts.
Periodontitis is what happens when gingivitis goes unchecked. Periodontitis is the inflammation of all the tissues around the teeth, causing bleeding, odor, pus formation, and destroying the bone leading to tooth loss.
So, is gingivitis reversible, or are you already on your way to Peridontitis? Good news, it’s not too late. But, you will have to change how you brush and realize that any gains you make are only temporary. Gingivitis can reappear in as little in 72 hours. In 20 years of practice, I’ve yet to see a case of gingivitis that couldn’t be corrected or by making just a few minor adjustments to your brushing technique.
Do these things if you notice your gums bleeding or think you may have Gingivitis:
Learn the Bass method of brushing
This ensures that you will be brushing 45 degrees into the gum line where bacteria inflames your gums. Purchase the MD Brush; It was made for the Bass method and breaks the routine of poor tooth brushing. However, switching to the Bass method can feel strange. It is hard to break the habits you have developed over the years. Usually, 2-3 days with the MD Brush is average to break the habit and retrain your muscle memory.
Personally, and professionally, flossing 3 times a week is ok. But, as with most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. You must scrape the teeth, which means pulling or pushing against the teeth when the floss goes up and down in between the teeth. Those little wishbone thingies with the floss in-between don’t do the trick. Use old-school floss for best results.
Use mouthwash before bed
preferable the one with the alcohol; it kills more bacteria than the alternative. Swish around for 30 seconds and then brush your teeth again, while the mouthwash is still in. After 30 seconds, spit the liquid out, but don’t rinse. Provided you don’t rinse, the residual mouthwash will continue to kill bacteria for several hours providing a lasting effect. Brushing with mouthwash is different from rinsing because it forces the gums to open, allowing greater penetration below the gum line. Only use mouthwash once a day, moderation is key.
Stay on top of Gingivitis prevention
If you think you have periodontal disease, notice pus, or have teeth that are loose; make an appointment with your dentist today. Periodontal disease is serious and can put you at higher risk for heart disease and other serious diseases, not to mention a full plate denture.
Written By Mike Davidson – Maverick Dental Hygienist and CEO