What Is Gingivitis?
When the gingiva or gums get inflamed, this is known as gingivitis. This is a periodontal disease which is non-destructive and occurs due to the accumulation of bacteria or plaque on the teeth. If the condition is not treated, it can lead to periodontitis, which can lead to the loss of your teeth.
There are 2 kinds of gingivitis:
- Gingival disease caused due to plaque: This is usually caused due to plaque, medications, systemic factors or malnutrition.
- Gingival lesions due to non-plaque causes: This is usually caused due to specific fungus, bacteria or virus. It may also be caused due to systemic conditions like some illnesses, allergic reactions, etc., genetic factors, reactions foreign bodies such as braces, dentures, braces etc., wounds, etc.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gingivitis?
Symptoms of gingivitis may include:
- Gums which are red or purple in color
- Gums become very tender and can be quite painful when touched
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Swollen gums, inflammation
- Bleeding that occurs when brushing or flossing
- Receding Gums
- Soft gums
What Are The Causes Of Gingivitis?
Accumulation of plaque between and around the teeth is the main cause of gingivitis. Other causes of gingivitis are:
- Hormonal changes occurring during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and menstruation
- Diseases such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, etc. that affect the immune system
- Smoking, poor oral hygiene, family history
- Poor diet, stress
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Gingivitis?
- Maintain healthy oral hygiene.
- Brush your teeth twice a day at least.
- Make use of an electric toothbrush.
- Use a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles.
- Floss properly at least once daily.
- Rinse your mouth regularly with an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Change your toothbrush once in every 3 months.
- Follow a healthy balanced diet.
- Have regular check-ups with your dentist, at least once in a year.
- If you’re suffering from gingivitis, then eat soft, watery foods such as steamed vegetables, soup, etc. as they can be consumed easily and prevents you from biting into something hard that can aggravate the problem.
- Gargling with sea salt can help to provide relief from gum pain and also helps to reduce the swelling.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Gingivitis?
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Reduce or eliminate your sugar intake.
- Avoid very hot food or drinks as this can make the gum problems worse. Allow the foods or beverages to cool down before consuming.
What Are The Best Foods For Gingivitis?
- Consuming vegetables and fruits that are rich in fiber acts like a detergent in the mouth and also helps to get the saliva flowing in your mouth, which reduces the effect of the enzymes and acids attacking the teeth and the saliva also contains phosphate and calcium that helps to restore the minerals in the teeth. This helps to reduce gum problems.
- Consuming dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese helps to produce saliva and also prevents gum diseases.
- Black and green tea contain polyphenols which react with the plaque-forming bacteria and prevents gingivitis.
- Onions are great for healthy gums as they destroy oral bacteria, so add more onions to your diet.
- Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, cabbage, chard, etc. contain vitamin C that can help to reduce inflammation and irritation and also prevents gum disease.
- Peppers and citrus fruits such as strawberries, oranges, kiwifruit, and pineapple are high in vitamin C and help to prevent gum problems.
- Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, an antibacterial compound that helps to fight plaque-causing bacteria and prevents gingivitis.
- Foods such as apples, carrots, celery, etc. help to remove food stuck in the mouth and help to generate saliva, which prevents the occurrence of gingivitis.
What Are The Worst Foods For Gingivitis?
- Avoid processed and packaged foods, such as white bread, canned foods, sausages, hot dogs, convenience foods, soft drinks, etc. as these are usually high in salt, sugar, and fat and cause the condition of gingivitis to worsen.
- Avoid eating processed carbohydrates such as baked products, sugary foods, and beverages, canned fruits and vegetables, etc. as they worsen the condition of gingivitis and the gum pain.
- Beverages like soda, fruit juices, sports drinks contain sugar and acids that harm the tooth enamel and leads to damage to the gums.
- Foods like tomatoes, tomato juice, citrus fruits, and juices are acidic and can cause damage to the teeth and gums. Have these with other foods or as part of the meal and rinse your mouth after having these to prevent gum problems.
- Alcohol dries out the mouth and restricts the flow of saliva causing more plaque build-up and gum problems.
- Caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks, coffee, etc. can cause the condition of gingivitis to worsen.
What Are The Medicines For Gingivitis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Gingivitis?
Some natural and home remedies for gingivitis are:
- Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help to soothe the inflamed gums, reduce pain, reduces the bacteria and provides relief in the case of gingivitis. Add ½-3/4 teaspoon water in lukewarm water and rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day for relief.
- Adding 2-3 drops of lemongrass in a cup of water and using it as a mouthwash 2-3 times a day can help to reduce plaque and provide relief from gingivitis.
- Use the juice of aloe vera to rise your mouth 2-3 times a day for relief from gingivitis.
- Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water and rinse with the solution for around 30 seconds 2-3 times a day or add a drop of tea tree oil to your toothpaste while brushing to provide relief from gingivitis.
- To 1-2 cups of boiled water add a teaspoon of dried sage or 2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves, which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and let it simmer for around 5-10 minutes. Use the cooled down liquid to rinse 2-3 times a day for relief from gingivitis.
- Add 5-6 crush guava leaves to a cup of boiling water and let it simmer for around 15 minutes and when the solution cools add some salt to it and use it to rinse your mouth for 30 seconds, 2-3 times in a day.
- You can use the technique of oil pulling as a remedy for gingivitis, which is essentially swishing oil in your mouth for around 20-30 minutes and this helps to reduce the bacteria, flush out the toxins and is good for oral health. You can use 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil or Aremidadi oil and swish it for 20-30 minutes without allowing the oil to touch the back of your throat or swallowing it. Then spit it out, rinse your mouth and brush your teeth.
- Cloves have antioxidant and antiviral properties and can help to reduce plaque and inflammation and can provide relief in the case of gingivitis. Make a paste of cloves and dip a cotton ball into the paste and rub it gently to your gums. Allow the cloves to sit on the gums for a minute and then rinse your mouth thoroughly.
- Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can also help in the case of gingivitis. You can use turmeric gel to the gums and allow it to sit for 10 minutes and rinse it out for relief 2-3 times in a day.