Causes of gingivitis and gum disease
Signs and symptoms of gingivitis and gum disease
Treatment and prevention of gingivitis and gum disease
Gingivitis and pregnancy
Gingivitis vs. periodontitis
When you brush or floss, do you ever see pink in the sink? It could be a sign that you have gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs in 3 out of 4 of Americans during their lifetime1, but don’t worry, with proper dental care early it’s easily reversed. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that happens when plaque, a naturally-occurring sticky film containing bacteria, builds up on teeth and gums. Plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums. This can cause the gums to become inflamed, making them red or puffy, or causing them to bleed.
While gingivitis is often a result of poor oral care habits, (for example, not brushing thoroughly for 2 minutes, twice a day, or frequently skipping flossing) other factors can increase your risk.
Gingivitis is often painless, so you may not necessarily feel sore gums, but be on the lookout for these other signs or symptoms. Along with monitoring your mouth for these signs and symptoms, be sure to visit your dentist and hygienist regularly. It may not seem like a big deal, but if gingivitis isn’t taken care of, it can sometimes progress to a more severe form of gum disease, called periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause lasting damage to your teeth and the bones that support them. It’s actually the leading cause of tooth loss.
The good news is that gingivitis can usually be reversed with the help of your dentist and hygienist and improvements in your personal oral hygiene. Your dental care team can recommend changes to your oral hygiene routine for both gingivitis treatment and gingivitis prevention. Together, your dentist, hygienist and Crest want to help you achieve a mouth that’s free of gingivitis. Remember that your teeth were meant to last you a lifetime, but you have to take good care of them to ensure they do.
To treat and prevent gingivitis at home, Crest offers a variety of solutions that deliver anti-gingivitis benefits, including Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Advanced Toothpaste, Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Multi-Protection Mouthwash, and Oral-B® Electric Toothbrushes. For effective gingivitis protection, in addition to noticeable whitening* benefits, you may also want to elevate your oral care with Crest’s biggest breakthrough in toothpaste since fluoride, Crest PRO-HEALTH® [HD].
* At 3 weeks of treatment
Gingivitis happens when plaque, a naturally-occurring sticky film containing bacteria, builds up on teeth and gums. Plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums. This can cause you to have inflamed gums, making them red or puffy, or causing them to bleed. Gingivitis is number one among the causes of bleeding gums in adults. These are key signs and symptoms you should be looking for when you brush. Remember, bleeding gums aren’t normal.
Since eliminating plaque is critical in preventing gingivitis, remember to use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste and mouthwash, and focus on a great oral health routine that includes brushing for 2 minutes twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. Other factors though might increase your risk of gingivitis. If some of these factors listed below apply to you, pay extra attention and talk to your dentist and hygienist at your next visit.
- Smoking/tobacco use is one of the greatest risk factors associated with gum disease and can lower the chances for successful treatment. Smokers are 2x more likely to get gum disease than non-smokers2
- Stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight infection, including gum disease
- Hormonal changes in women during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause make gums more sensitive and more prone to inflammation
- Poor nutrition deprives the body of important nutrients and makes it more difficult for the body to fight infection, including gum disease
- Medications for many conditions can affect oral health. Tell your dentist or hygienist if you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV, impair the body’s ability to fight infection, including gum disease. Tell your dentist and hygienist if you have any medical conditions
Fortunately, gingivitis can usually be reversed with the help of your dentist, hygienist, Crest anti-gingivitis oral care products, and improvements in your personal oral hygiene. Your dental care team can recommend changes to your oral hygiene routine for both gingivitis treatment and prevention. Using products from Crest rated to fight gingivitis, like the following, are also great steps to take in treating and preventing this disease:
Because gingivitis doesn’t often cause pain, many people don’t know they have it. In fact, as many as 75% of all Americans will experience some degree of gingivitis during their lifetime.1 That’s why it’s important not only to know what to look for, but also to see your dentist and hygienist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
Here are some gingivitis symptoms to watch out for:
- Red, puffy gums
- Bleeding gums, especially when you brush or floss
o Remember, bleeding gums are not normal
- Sore gums that won’t go away
- Tooth pain or sensitivity. When gums pull away from teeth, teeth are more exposed and sensitive to hot and cold foods or beverages
- Bad breath that won’t go away. Plaque contains millions of bacteria that produce foul-smelling waste products
- Loose teeth or changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite down. This could be an advanced gum disease, called periodontitis
Gingivitis is treatable and preventable. If you have gingivitis or think you might have gingivitis, we understand this might be a scary thought. Please know that this is treatable with the partnership of your dentist, hygienist and Crest. We’ve outlined key areas to look for to get the best anti-gingivitis toothpaste and best anti-gingivitis mouthwash.
Treating and preventing gingivitis is all about eliminating as much plaque from your teeth and gums as possible. There are some key signs or symptoms to look for with gingivitis, like bleeding or swollen gums. The best way to treat it is to catch it early. Make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Your hygienist will remove plaque or tartar (plaque that has hardened) from your teeth with special tools. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional, so using oral care items rated for plaque removal helps reduce the amount of tartar needing removal during your dental visit.
How to reverse gingivitis at home:
Then it’s up to you to stick to consistent gingivitis home treatment. This includes removing plaque in 2 ways— using a toothpaste and mouthwash with FDA approved anti-bacterial agents along with physical removal via a toothbrush and floss. Your dentist may also add a prescription gingivitis treatment to your routine. If your dentist or hygienist recommends a prescription gingivitis treatment like chlorhexidine mouthwash, be sure to ask if Crest PRO-HEALTH® [HD] might be a good fit. It’s clinically proven to be as effective as this mouthwash and you can pick it up anytime without a prescription.
Help Keep Plaque from Coming Back:
Here are some important details to remember to help prevent gingivitis from returning:
If you have red, sensitive, or swollen gums during pregnancy, you’re not alone. There’s a direct connection between pregnancy and bleeding gums. During pregnancy, increased levels of the hormone, progesterone, cause an exaggerated response to plaque bacteria. Learn more about how plaque causes gingivitis. As a result, pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis. Don’t worry though, knowing how to find the best anti-gingivitis toothpaste and best anti-gingivitis mouthwash will help fight off this disease during a time when the health of you and your baby are your top priority. Talking to your dentist and hygienist about this elevated risk before and during this special time in your life can also help reverse or prevent gingivitis.
Between 60% & 70% of women experience gingivitis while pregnant.
Crest understands you’ve got a lot going on when you’re pregnant, so your oral health may not exactly be top-of-mind. But because your risk of gingivitis increases, it’s as important as ever to maintain the health of your gums and teeth. Be aware of key signs and symptoms of gingivitis, like red, swollen gums or gums that bleed when you brush. Bleeding gums are never normal, although 60% of us think it is.
Here are some important things to remember to prevent or treat gingivitis while you’re pregnant:
- Use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste. Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Advanced Toothpaste, helps prevent gingivitis and helps reverse gingivitis in 4 weeks. Ask your dentist if they think you should start using it before, during and after pregnancy to maintain overall oral health.
- Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash. Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Multi-Protection Mouthwash, kills 99% of the bacteria that cause gingivitis
- Floss at least once a day. Oral-B Glide® PRO-HEALTH® Clinical Protection Floss, slides easily between teeth and below the gumline to remove gingivitis-causing plaque
- Tell your hygienist and dentist if you’re pregnant. They may recommend more frequent dental cleanings to help you avoid gingivitis
- You may want to consider the breakthrough daily 2-step system, Crest® PRO-HEALTH® [HD]™, which provides gingivitis protection, in addition to noticeable whitening benefits*—so your smile will be beaming, just like you!
*At 3 weeks of treatment.
The terms “gingivitis,” “periodontal disease” and “periodontitis” are often used interchangeably, but they actually have three distinct meanings. Each of these stages have an impact on the oral health of America though, with 24 million Americans having lost 6+ teeth due to decay or gum disease and 12 million Americans have lost all of their teeth due to decay or gum disease.
Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease. It includes both gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis refers to the earliest form of gum disease in which the gums become inflamed, making them red or puffy, or causing them to bleed. Remember, bleeding gums are never normal and should be brought to the attention of your hygienist and dentist when you go for your regular visits. Periodontitis refers to advanced periodontal disease. In periodontitis, the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, creating pockets where additional bacteria can build up and cause an infection. Periodontitis can cause lasting damage to your teeth and the bones that support them. It’s actually the leading cause of tooth loss. Because periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease, you can’t care for it on your own with periodontitis home treatment. If you experience any of the signs of periodontal disease below, be sure to see your dentist and hygienist as soon as possible.
Signs of periodontitis include:
- Pain when chewing
- Poor tooth alignment
- Receding gums
- Pockets between the teeth and gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Sores on the inside of the mouth
- Loose or sensitive teeth
Understanding the signs and symptoms of gingivitis is the key to ensuring that you stop it before it starts or treat it early enough to reverse it before it progresses to periodontitis.