Chances are you’ve seen commercials for toothpaste, toothbrushes, or mouthwash that brag about their ability to remove plaque, prevent cavities, and help you avoid gingivitis. And there’s a good chance you know that plaque is the bad stuff that builds up on our teeth and can lead to cavities, which are holes in our teeth. But do you really know what gingivitis is? Just as importantly, do you know what steps to take in order to prevent it?
Gingivitis is actually the inflammation of the gums. Typically, it’s caused by the buildup of plaque, the clear and sticky substance that builds up on the surface of our teeth in between brushings. Over time, and if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to painful gums that bleed. It may even result in gums becoming weak, increasing the chances of an infection and loss of teeth. Thankfully, there are a number of relatively easy ways to prevent gingivitis and keep your mouth looking and feeling healthy.
The first and most basic way to prevent the development of gingivitis is to regularly inspect your gums to make sure they’re looking healthy. Gums that are suffering from the effects of gingivitis will look inflamed, meaning they could be red and puffy.
Gums affected by gingivitis may also bleed, particularly during and after a thorough brushing. If you see blood in your spit or see evidence of blood on your toothbrush, you may be suffering from the early onset of gingivitis. To prevent it from becoming a serious problem, regularly brush and floss your teeth, use mouthwash, and book an appointment with your dentist for an examination.