The bottom line in treating and preventing gingivitis is that you have to eliminate as much plaque as you possibly can. Plaque, the sticky film containing bacteria that builds up on teeth and around the gum line, is the whole reason gingivitis happens. Plaque produces toxins that irritate your gums and begin a chain reaction of redness, swelling, and bleeding. But don’t worry about these gingivitis symptoms—if you catch it early, you can fight plaque and the bacteria that comes with it fairly easily, with a number of gingivitis treatments.
- Use Antibacterial Toothpaste. It can help fight plaque all day and night, long after you’ve completed your oral hygiene routine. There are also anti-gingivitis toothpastes that can target the plaque found around your gum line.
- Brush your teeth more effectively. Make sure you brush for 2 minutes, 2 times every day. Consider an electric toothbrush that will give you a more thorough cleaning than a manual brush.
- Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash. Mouthwash can get to plaque bacteria that’s hiding in those hard-to-reach places.
- Floss daily. Flossing is a great tool for the treatment of gingivitis, as it removes food particles that can feed plaque that your toothbrush could miss.
- Brushing: Be sure to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and brush using short circular strokes. It’s important not to use too much pressure, so try holding your brush like a pen between your thumb and forefinger. Don’t forget to brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
- Flossing: Using about 18 inches of floss, wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand, and wind a small piece around the middle finger of the other hand. Unwind fresh floss as you move from tooth to tooth. Slide the floss all the way up and down between each tooth, and curve it into a C-shape at the gum line so it slides between the teeth and gums. If you’re still experiencing gingivitis symptoms, you should make an appointment to visit your dentist and hygienist.
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned. A cleaning by your hygienist is the first big step in the treatment of gingivitis. Your hygienist can remove significantly more plaque build-up than you can remove on your own. Hygienists and dentists are also specifically trained to identify the early signs and symptoms of gingivitis to help you get ahead of any issues.
- Ask your dentist or hygienist if you’re brushing and flossing properly We learn these skills at a very early age, and a little refresher course can make a huge difference.
When it comes to treating gingivitis at home, your best strategy for eliminating the plaque that causes gingivitis is to implement a comprehensive oral hygiene routine using a variety of products that complement one another. 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. Each of these products has its own important job in reducing plaque. This is where Crest can really help. A Crest Pro-Health regimen that includes Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Advanced Toothpaste, Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Multi-Protection Mouthwash, Oral-B® Black 7000 electric toothbrush and Oral-B Glide® PRO-HEALTH Clinical Protection Floss is one such combination of products. 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.*
*At 3 weeks of treatment.
1. Bass, CC. An Effective Method of Personal Oral Hygiene, J. Louisiana State Med. Soc., 106, 100. March, 1954