Gingivitis – Will My Gums Heal
The short answer is yes, but there are exceptions to gingivitis and that will depend on the severity of the disease.
But first, a brief, boring, devoid of all humor, exceptionally dry explanation for reference.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease where the gums appear red, puffy and often bleed during brushing or flossing. It’s caused by the overgrowth of bacteria at and just below the gum line. The body reacts to these bacteria and by increasing blood flow which consequently causes the gums to swell and bleed. Basically, you haven’t brushed well, there’s too much plaque, and your body is dealing with it as best it can.
Conversely, periodontitis is an inflammation of ALL the tissues around the teeth. The bacteria infect the surrounding gum causing bleeding, odor, pus formation, and consequently destroys the bone leading to tooth loss. This is a more severe form of gingivitis that’s been allowed to persist. Basically, you haven’t brushed well for a very, long time and may want to consider making an appointment with Dr Smith DDS.
So back to the question, “Is gingivitis reversible” and “will my gums heal”? Yes, BUT you’ll have to make some changes to 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 brushing technique.
Therefore, if you were recently diagnosed with gingivitis, notice your gums bleeding, or think you may have gingivitis, perform the following in this order.
Learn the Bass method of tooth brushing.
This ensures that you will be brushing 45 degrees into the gum line where all those nasty little critters camp out and keep the fires of inflammation stoked. Purchase the MD Brush; It was made for the Bass method and breaks the routine of poor tooth brushing. However, be prepared, if you’ve spent your entire life brushing on autopilot changing to the Bass method will be like driving on the left side of the road in Scotland for the very 1st time. Usually 2-3 days with the MD Brush is average to break the habit and retrain the arm.
Personally, and professionally, I’m OK if you floss 3 times a week, BUT there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Simply popping the floss in between the teeth won’t cut the mustard or should I say goop. You must scrape the teeth, which means pulling or pushing against the teeth when the floss goes up and down in between the teeth. Oh, and those little wishbone thingies with the floss in-between; not a fan. If you’re going to take the time to floss, do it the right, and go old school.
Lastly, right before you go to bed, take a big ole slug of Listerine mouthwash.
preferable the one with the alcohol; why, because it’s just more fun, and kills more bacteria. Swish around for 30 seconds and then brush your teeth…. Again, while the Listerine is still in your mouth. After 30 seconds, spit the Listerine out but don’t rinse. Provided you don’t rinse, the residual Listerine will continue to kill bacteria for several hours providing a lasting effect. Brushing with Listerine is different from rinsing, because it forces the gums to open, allowing greater penetration below the gum line.
I only recommend using Listerine once a day. Like any alcohol, moderation is key.
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 a few other nasties not to mention a full plate denture.
Written By Mike Davidson – Maverick Dental Hygienist and CEO