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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

The 101 On Gingivitis: Signs And Treatment Options For This Early Form Of Gum Disease

by Eric Bailey

Diet, exercise, and regular checkups are imperative for your healthy lifestyle, but certain tasks are necessary to protect your oral health. While an annual dental exam is smart, proper brushing and preventative measures are essential to protect the look and underlying health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Considering an estimated 47.2 percent of adults 30 years old or older have some form of periodontal disease, learning the early signs of this condition will prevent serious damage to your gums and teeth. Using this guide on gingivitis, you will understand the symptoms of this early form of gum disease and learn the best options for treatment.

The 101 on Gingivitis

Even though you brush properly, food, plaque, and bacteria can quickly build up on your teeth and gums. This buildup spreads over time, creating a heavy residue on the surface of your teeth and gums. Known as gingivitis, this early stage of gum disease can cause the following symptoms:

  • Light Bleeding During and After Brushing
  • Tender Gums
  • Swollen Gums
  • Foul Breath
  • Unappealing Taste in Mouth
  • Decreased Gum Line – Gums recede from teeth, possibly exposing roots

Treating gingivitis is key to stopping the progression of gum disease. Without treatment, you may suffer with decay, tooth loss, infections, and pain.

Treating Gingivitis

Dentists will most likely recommend a detailed cleaning of your teeth to remove the stubborn plaque buildup. However, you will need to perform regular tasks at home to keep your teeth and gums free from plaque and bacteria.

While obvious to many, brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes at a time, should be a priority.

Do not use a hard-bristled tooth brush as this may be scratch or erode your tooth enamel. For the best results, use a soft-bristled brush. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and begin brushing using back and forth motions. Be sure to brush under, over, and on the sides of your teeth and tongue before rinsing with lukewarm water.

In most cases, your dentist has told you the importance of flossing, but this simple act is crucial to protect your teeth from gingivitis. To remove leftover food particles and bacteria from in between your teeth, floss daily.

Home Remedies for Gingivitis

Professional cleanings along with proper brushing and flossing at home are effective for treating and preventing gingivitis, but you can also use natural remedies to treat this early form of gum disease. If you are currently dealing with gingivitis, consider one or more of the following home remedies:

  • Salt – The antiseptic and antiviral properties of salt eat through plaque while killing bacteria on your teeth and gums. Add ½ teaspoon of regular table salt to an 8-ounce glass of lukewarm water. Mix before rinsing your mouth with the solution each day and night to reduce the symptoms of gum disease.
  • Coconut Oil – Oil pulling was used in ancient times to treat a variety of medical conditions, but it is also an effective treatment for your gingivitis. To get started, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your mouth and swish it around for 10 to 15 minutes. Use swishing motions to "pull" food, bacteria, and plaque away from your teeth and gums. After the time, spit the oil into a trash bin and brush your teeth as normal. The antibacterial qualities of coconut oil decrease bacteria in your mouth, but pulling with oil improves your overall health by removing toxins from your body.

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can affect your smile, underlying health, and self-esteem. Fortunately, treating the early form of the disease is possible. Using this guide on gingivitis, you can prevent the progression of gum disease and enjoy a healthy, appealing smile. For more tips, contact a company like Dental Associates PC.