Everything You Need to Know About Gingivitis Treatment and Reversing Gum Disease

Gingivitis treatment refers to any dental treatment aimed at reversing gum disease. Excuse me, folks. This my pet hobby horse.

There is so much bad advice about gum disease on the internet, I'm fed up. So I'm going to tell it like it is.

Here's the TRUTH about gingivitis treatment and reversing gum disease.

OK, so 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?  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.

Gum disease on a patient of mine

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!

Heavy stuff !

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.

Gingivitis Treatment

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;

  • Your gums bleed when you brush your teeth.

    If your hands bled when you washed them, you'd be worried, right? Same thing for your gums! Healthy gums do not bleed!

  • Your gums are swollen or "puffy".

  • Your gums are red. They should be pale pink!

  • You have a bad taste in your mouth, or bad breath.

Optimal gingivitis treatment. HERE'S MY LIST OF WHAT YOU SHOULD DO!

  • Brush your teeth MORE SLOWLY, and for longer. Spend AT LEAST 6 minutes brushing! For a review of the best toothbrushes, have a look at electric toothbrush ratings. You can read our reviews of the best brushes there.

    BUT if you're in a rush, my best recommendation is the Cybersonic.

  • Using dental tape is key in my gingivitis treatment strategy!
  • Use DENTAL TAPE to floss properly, EVERY DAY. Check my instructions on flossing at Oral B floss.

  • DO NOT THINK that some fancy mouthwash or herbal potion will take care of the problem. A mouthwash is NOT a gingivitis treatment.

    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.

  • Take responsibility for YOUR body. It is YOUR disease. Don't believe there is a quick fix at the dentist's office.

    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 AND FLOSSING 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.