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Yes, You Can Reverse Gingivitis, and Here's Why You Should

Jan 16, 2024
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Worried about your gingivitis? You have good reason for concern! This condition increases your risk of many oral health issues as well as overall health concerns. Learn how to reverse this common disease — and find out why you should.

Did you know that 50% of adults over 30 and almost three-quarters of seniors in the United States have periodontal (gum) disease? Gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, is the first step to advanced periodontal disease. 

Gingivitis develops when your teeth have a buildup of plaque, a sticky film that forms when bacteria in your mouth combine with the sugars in food. If not effectively removed with brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar, creating a layer where harmful bacteria thrive above — and below — the gum line. 

Gingivitis symptoms are mild at first, but worsen as the disease progresses. They include:

  • Bad breath
  • Tenderness with flossing
  • Gums that bleed after brushing or flossing
  • Mild inflammation of the gums

Patricia Swaintek-Lamb, DMD, and our team at Proud to Smile Dentistry in Bernardsville, New Jersey, are committed to helping you and your gums stay in the pink of health. As part of our comprehensive line of dental services, we offer specialized periodontal therapy to treat gum disease. 

Keep reading to learn why reversing gingivitis is important, and the steps you can take today to get started on the path to better oral health. 

Why reversing gingivitis is important

Gingivitis is the first step toward more serious gum disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, and it affects your oral and overall health. It increases your risk of dental decay and tooth loss, and it’s associated with serious health conditions, including: 

  • Respiratory disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Different cancers
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers believe the connection is related to the systemic inflammation gum disease causes, as well as the general increase in unfriendly bacteria.

Turning gingivitis around

The good news is that gingivitis is treatable, meaning you can reverse the condition. At Proud to Smile Dentistry, Dr. Swaintek-Lamb creates a personalized gingivitis treatment plan designed to meet your unique needs. She may suggest that you:

1. Floss and brush regularly

One of the top ways to keep your gums healthy and reverse gingivitis is maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine. This means brushing for at least two minutes, two times a day. Don’t forget to brush along the gum line and use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. 

A healthy oral hygiene routine also means flossing every day. This important step removes food and plaque from between your teeth, areas brushing alone can’t reach. You can also use an antiseptic mouthwash to help eliminate bad bacteria and improve your breath. 

2. Focus on balanced nutrition and hydration

If you want to reverse gum disease, it’s important to focus on balanced nutrition and staying well hydrated. Stay away from foods that encourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria, like simple starches and sugary treats.

You’ll want to eat a diet centered on whole foods, mostly vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, like legumes, tofu, and eggs. These foods are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and calcium, which strengthen your teeth and gums. 

Drinking plenty of water so you stay hydrated is also essential in reversing gingivitis. This is because saliva is your mouth’s first line of defense against plaque buildup. 

3. Pay attention to what you put in your mouth

Smoking, vaping, and chewing tobacco can prevent the improvement of gum disease because they weaken your immune system. This makes it easier for infection to take hold and slows your natural healing process. 

Medications that cause dry mouth can also make reversing gum disease more challenging. This is because dry mouth is a sign of reduced saliva production, and saliva is a key part of cleaning your mouth and protecting your teeth against plaque and tartar. 

4. Keep up with regular dental cleanings

Reversing gingivitis involves keeping your gums healthy. Preventive dental care with routine dental cleanings and exams are essential for doing just that, as your provider removes plaque and tartar buildup and examines the health of your mouth. To help reverse your gingivitis — and keep it away — schedule appointments with our team every six months.

5. Consider periodontal therapy

At Proud to Smile Dentistry, our personalized periodontal therapy focuses on your gum health, treating any issues you may be facing. There are various techniques that are involved in periodontal therapy, and Dr. Swaintek-Lamb selects the right ones for you. 

For example, some patients benefit from deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) to clear plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line. Other patients with more advanced gum disease may benefit from oral surgery to graft or extract damaged tissue. 

Periodontal therapy reduces the risk of gum disease progressing, and it helps manage the painful symptoms, such as inflammation and bleeding. What’s more, it helps you keep your natural teeth by making your gums and smile healthy. 

Take steps toward healthier gums today

Learn more about reversing gingivitis by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at Proud to Smile Dentistry in Bernardsville, New Jersey.