By Shelly Fesler, RDH, BSDH
In this article: How to treat gingivitis ~ Step 2
Or, if you missed Step 1 ~ Go back
Curing gingivitis is no problem once you have a sense of awareness combined with good habits and a little persistence.
Following this two step approach will eventually result in healthier gums.
I am amazed at how quickly gums respond and heal when they are given a little daily attention.
Reversing gingivitis before it progresses to a more destructive type of gum disease is important.
It's simple to treat gingivitis.
It is inflammation of the gums. Inflamed gums look red, swollen, and bleed easily.
Of all the signs of this condition, bleeding gums is the most reliable indicator.
If you have nothing to compare to, how do you know if your gums are red or swollen?
If they bleed when you brush or floss...that's not good and is most likely a sign of gingivitis.
Here's the catch: If you are not brushing or flossing properly, your gums may not bleed. That doesn’t mean you don't have gingivitis.
Only that you are missing your gums entirely :(
Curing gingivitis requires a little persistence to get past the sore gum stage. When you first start brushing and flossing correctly, your gums will be sore.
Many make the mistake of backing off or quitting at this point.
That is why I recommend curing gingivitis in stages.
Pardon the pun but....if you bite off more than you can chew, it's easy to get discouraged.
Make it easy on yourself and your gums. Start with daily gum massages.
We all love a good massage...right? Your gums really love a good massage :) Here's how to give your gums a healing massage.
After following this routine of daily gum massages and some listerine swishing, your gums should be healthier, firmer, pinker, bleed less and feel better.
Now you are ready to floss....you knew it had to happen sometime:)
Review the instructions for good flossing technique.
Then be sure you choose the right dental floss for you. The wrong floss will make flossing difficult and more frustrating.
Floss your lower front and upper front four or six teeth. Be sure to use good form.
Watch yourself in the mirror until you are sure the floss is wrapping around your tooth and sliding between your tooth and gum...it should go under your gum.
Once you have it down quit looking in the mirror and go by feel.
When you are confident about your technique, add a tooth or two each day working your way back to your molars. Always check for smoothness with your tongue.
You may need another 10 minute gum massage or two while your gums are getting used to being flossed.
Here are my top 10 flossing myths.
You should be flossing all the way back to your molars now and having very little or no bleeding at all.
These products are perfect for maintaining healthy gums.
Oral Irrigators ~ Waterpik flosser, Hydrofloss, or Showerfloss are great for keeping your gums in shape.
Electric Toothbrush ~ Will help prevent gingivitis from recurring.
A professional cleaning is important to have your gum pockets measured and evaluated.
If you had gingivitis for a long time you might have gum disease that needs further treatment.
If you still have gingivitis symptoms your cure for gingivitis may require a look at contributing factors. Some cases need professional care.
If you don't see improvement in your symptoms after one week, see your dentist or dental hygienist.
The good news: Your dental check up and cleaning will be a lot more comfortable with your new healthier gums!