Help! What’s the Best and Fastest Way to Cure Gingivitis?

Woodhill Dental Specialties06/13/22

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? Are they red or irritated? If so, you may have gingivitis. Patients who don’t practice good oral hygiene habits can develop gingivitis. That includes patients with braces or clear aligners who don’t brush or floss as often or thoroughly as they should. What exactly is gingivitis, can you get gingivitis with braces, and how do you get rid of gingivitis? 

At Woodhill Dental Specialties, we’ve seen plenty of patients with signs of gingivitis. We’ve been able to spot gingivitis and guide patients toward clearing it up before it becomes a more severe form of gum disease. Here are a few facts about gingivitis, what you can do to treat gingivitis at home, and how you can prevent it. 

What Is Gingivitis?

So what is gingivitis, and how do you know you have it? Gingivitis is an irritation of your gums. It can be caused by several different things, from poor brushing and flossing habits to genetics to certain medications. Malnutrition, injuries, or other oral problems can also lead to gingivitis. 

Many people think gingivitis can damage your teeth. It can’t, but it can lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. This disease can cause damage to the teeth and jaws and result in serious infection, damage, or tooth loss. That’s why it’s important to take care of your gingivitis immediately before it worsens. 

What Causes Gingivitis? 

What is the cause of gingivitis? Is gingivitis hereditary? Is gingivitis common? These are some of the many questions we get about gingivitis. It is pretty common, particularly with those who don’t brush and floss their teeth regularly. 

That’s not to say it’s the only thing that can cause gingivitis. There are several factors involved. 

  • Poor oral hygiene habits. A filmy substance called plaque builds up on your teeth when you don’t brush and floss properly. Plaque can harden and become tartar, which makes it more difficult to clean teeth by brushing and flossing. 
  • Genetics. Some people are prone to getting gingivitis because of family history or genetic disorder that predisposes them to gingivitis. It means they must be extra vigilant with oral hygiene and regular checkups. 
  • Tobacco habits. The chances of gingivitis increase with smoking or chewing tobacco. These habits can also make it harder for your gums to heal. 
  • Illness. Illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, or AIDS can affect the condition of your gums, including making gingivitis more common. They can also make your gums harder to heal. 
  • Hormonal changes. Hormonal changes, particularly in women, can affect your gums. Pregnancy, puberty, menopause, monthly menstruation, and other hormonal changes can make gums more sensitive than usual and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Medications. Medications and their side effects can affect your oral health. Some medications can cause “dry mouth” or a drop in saliva levels. Saliva protects teeth and gums and washes plaque from them, so a decrease in saliva can increase the chances of gingivitis. Some medicines can also cause abnormal gum growth. 

Signs You Have Gingivitis

How do you know if you have gingivitis? Does gingivitis cause bad breath? There are several signs, and once you know what gingivitis looks like, you can start treating it immediately.  

So what are the signs of gingivitis? These can include:

  • Red or purple gums
  • Gums that are tender or sore to the touch
  • Gums that are swollen or inflamed
  • Soft gums
  • Bleeding during brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)

If you think you have gingivitis, especially if you have gingivitis with braces, contact Woodhill Dental Specialties. We can check your teeth and gums and determine if that’s what’s happening or if there is something else. Until then, if you want to know how to get rid of gingivitis or how to get rid of gingivitis with braces, be sure to floss and brush daily for two minutes at a time twice a day. 

Do Braces Cause Gingivitis?

Patients sometimes ask whether there is a link between orthodontics and gingivitis. Do braces cause gingivitis? No, braces themselves don’t cause gingivitis. Is gingivitis common with braces? It’s more common than you might think, but not for the reason you might think. While braces don’t cause gingivitis, they make it more challenging to brush and floss properly. The lack of proper oral hygiene is what can cause gingivitis. 

Is Gingivitis Contagious? 

Some patients want to know if gingivitis is contagious. Can you get gingivitis from kissing? Can you make someone ill because of it? The answer to all of these questions is no. Gingivitis isn’t like a cold or the flu. You can’t simply pass it from one person to another. As long as you brush and floss regularly and thoroughly, your chances of getting gingivitis decrease significantly. 

Can Gingivitis Kill You?

Gingivitis alone cannot kill you. However, if it advances to a more serious form of gum disease, it can threaten your overall health. Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease that can include infections. Bacteria from those infections can get into the bloodstream and spread to other body parts, including the heart and blood. Left untreated, those infections can become deadly. 

It’s vital to take care of your gingivitis before it gets worse. Make sure to clean your teeth twice daily at least, and visit your dentist every six months. If you’re in the Dallas, TX, and Rockwall, TX, areas and are a Woodhill Dental Specialties patient, contact us immediately if you have concerns.

How to Get Rid of Gingivitis With Braces

The easiest way to treat gingivitis is to brush and floss at least twice daily. Ideally, you should brush after every meal. We recommend using a soft-bristled electric toothbrush to scrub plaque completely off the teeth. You should brush for at least two minutes each time, taking care to get all parts of each tooth. 

You should also floss your teeth at least once daily before you brush. If you’re having trouble getting around your braces, products called floss threaders can help. They look like giant needles, but they’re made of a thin plastic that can go under your wires and between your teeth to thread floss through. You can also use a water flosser, though it may not be as effective.

Good oral hygiene habits will eliminate and prevent gingivitis. If that isn’t enough, your gingivitis may be related to other factors. Consult us for other possible solutions, including medicinal mouthwash or specialized toothpaste.

Getting the Facts on Gingivitis in Dallas, TX

Regular checkups are crucial in braces or clear aligner treatment and in the fight against gum disease. Woodhill Dental Specialties will check your teeth and gums in addition to your braces, so we’ll be able to spot any possible issues with gum disease. 

Schedule an appointment and let us check for you if you’re concerned that you have gingivitis that isn’t getting better after a few days. We can evaluate your teeth and gums for any signs of gum disease and recommend oral habit changes to prevent further deterioration. We can also evaluate your brushing and flossing methods and suggest ways to improve both. 

Woodhill Dental Specialties will work with you throughout your treatment to make sure you have a beautiful, healthy smile.

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