Many people suffer from some form of gum disease, or gingivitis. Its most common cause is straightforward: poor oral hygiene. Unlike periodontal disease, which impacts the bone within the gums, gingivitis is inflammation within the gum tissue itself. While oral hygiene deficiencies are the culprit, there are many factors that can increase your risk of developing gingivitis, including:
- Smoking and chewing tobacco make it more difficult for damaged tissue to heal
- Crooked teeth allow plaque and tartar to accumulate
- Stress lowers your body’s immune response to the bacteria
- Mouth breathing allows your gums to dry out, causing inflammation and irritation
Besides red, swollen, bleeding gums, one of the other likely signs of gum disease is chronic bad breath. As the infection within the gums spreads, the bacteria release an odor that is noticeable to others. Beyond traditional oral hygiene, there are a few other things you can do to treat and help prevent gum disease:
- Drink tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
- Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash. It kills bacteria in your mouth.
- Warm saltwater rinses. A combination of the two, this rinse can both reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, but should not be used every day.
- Baking soda. Baking soda neutralizes acid within your mouth that can contribute to gum disease
If you have, or believe you have, gum disease, be sure to attend your regular dentist appointments. Treating it early, before the bacteria spread to the bone beneath the teeth, greatly improves your chance of recovery without tooth loss or surgery.
Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.
Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.