Gingivitis treatment refers to any dental treatment aimed at reversing or arresting gum disease. Excuse me, folks. This my pet hobby horse.
I have found that there is SO MUCH bad advice about gum disease on the internet, I'M FED UP. Particularly with homeopathic remedies and "oil pulling". These are mad-cap theories that have NO hard science nor evidence behind them, only pseudo-science at best. What really annoys me is that SO MANY people are taken in by these theories, and are given false hope. So they waste their time and money, ending up no better off - indeed frequently WORSE OFF! So I'm going to tell it like it is. Hopefully some folk out there will benefit from these recommendations, that have a solid foundation in research and evidence-based science.
Here's the TRUTH about gingivitis treatment and reversing gum disease.
OK, so first of all, what IS gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the word that dentists and hygienists use to describe gum inflammation. It is the mildest form of gum disease. To be quite frank, almost all patients that I see have gingivitis to one degree or another. It is SO COMMON, it is almost "normal" !
As we said at the top, gingivitis treatment is anything that is aimed at getting rid of the gum inflammation.
IF YOUR DENTIST HAS NOT TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAVE GINGIVITIS, the most likely reason is that he's fed up telling people!
As a dentist, I know the feeling that all dentists get when you have to tell a patient bad news - no matter how minor. Sometimes it feels like you spend all day giving people bad news!
The trouble is, most people don't want to be told that they have a gum problem, and they usually don't believe it when they ARE told!
It reminds me of that old joke about it being a waste of time trying to teach a pig to sing; it never works, and it annoys the pig!
So, it is not unusual for a dentist to be "burned out" telling people that they have gingivitis or gum disease. Most patients don't listen, and it annoys them to be told!
So what's wrong with having a bit of gum disease? Surely it can't be too bad?
Actually, there are BIG health issues!
Gum disease is caused by bacteria collecting around your teeth.
(Read about the Causes of Gum Disease )
The one exception is gum inflammation associated with wisdom tooth pain.
These bacteria cause inflammation, because your body recognizes them as being "foreign", like a splinter in your finger.
What's WRONG is, this inflammation is not limited to your gums. There is a load of scientific evidence that gum disease can also cause heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and stroke.
For more information about how gum disease affects your health, go to dental health issues.
In particular, if you have diabetes you must read diabetes and gum disease.
As if it wasn't bad enough that gum disease can make your teeth loose and fall out - gum disease WILL affect your general health too!
Heart disease or a stroke can kill you.
The others just make life unpleasant.
And yet gum disease is SO EASY TO PREVENT, if you just invest a little time in your own health. About 15 minutes a day.
I've written a guide on How to Cure Gum Disease.
What does gingivitis look like? How can I tell if I have it?
There are several things to look for. Here's detailed information on Gum Disease Symptoms.
But here's the short and skinny version;
If your hands bled when you washed them, you'd be
worried, right? Same
thing for your gums! Healthy gums do not bleed!
Optimal gingivitis treatment. HERE'S MY LIST OF WHAT YOU SHOULD DO!
BUT if you're in a rush, my best recommendation is the Cybersonic.
Simply, mouthwashes do not get under the gum, where the bacteria hide. I think most mouthwashes are useless, despite all the advertising hype.
Sure, there is ONE that has been shown to help a bit; BUT THE PROBLEM is that people always go overboard on the mouthwash. They think that the mouthwash is going to fix all their gum problems.
So they start to brush for a bit less time. They "forget to floss" here and there. And the mouthwash cannot compensate for that.
At first, with a mouthwash, you may see your gums bleeding a bit less and becoming less swollen. BUT the disease is continuing, out of sight, UNDER your gums.
Twelve months down the line, you will be back where
you started. No,
you will be WORSE OFF, because the disease has progressed
while you were messing about with mouthwashes and herbal cures. AND you
have lost 12 months of time.
Sure, there is help and advice. The dental hygienist can show you how to brush better. And she can show you where you are leaving plaque behind.
But scaling and root planing will NOT help your gum condition UNLESS you are getting the plaque off your teeth every day.
Nothing can replace GETTING PLAQUE OFF YOUR TEETH EACH AND EVERY DAY. No special mouthwashes. No special toothpastes. No chemicals.
JUST BRUSHING SLOWLY AND FLOSSING UNDER YOUR GUM EDGES is the best gingivitis treatment.
An extra cleaning method when you have gingivitis is to use a HydroFloss oral irrigator with a capful of TheraBreath Perio Rinse added to the water in the water tank. If you use the fine "Pocket Pal" tips, you can clean effectively under the gum edges where the plaque can escape from toothbrushing.
The Perio Rinse will release oxygen under the gum, killing the
plaque bacteria. I recommend the Perio Therapy Kit from TheraBreath,
which comes with a gel for treating periodontal pockets.
So, unless you are willing to spend the time and money on a daily visit to the hygienist, it's up to you to do the job yourself at home!
The BEST gingivitis treatment is WHAT YOU DO at home!
Brush VERY slowly, for at least 6 minutes. Then floss carefully with dental tape. Did I say that already? !
If you're looking for a new toothbrush, I recommend the Cybersonic. Read my review of this brush here.