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Home > Dental Conditions > Gum Disease > Gum Disease Symptoms & Causes > Sizing Up Gingivitis Below the Gum Line
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Sizing Up Gingivitis Below the Gum Line


If your mouth is healthy and gingivitis symptoms free, you have about 500 different species of bacteria living inside. The National Institute of Health makes these figures sound like a lot, until you consider this:

Researchers at the Forsyth Institute in Boston don't always count species, according to the Harvard University Gazette. They estimate there could be as many as six billion individual bacteria in your mouth, some of which are "good" bacteria and some "bad."

So when asking how to get rid of gingivitis, consider both numbers and types. Too few good bacteria will allow things like thrush infection to invade your mouth. Too many bad bacteria cause gingivitis which could lead to periodontitis.

How to Identify Gingivitis Symptoms

You could have gingivitis without even knowing it because it hardly ever causes pain. To see if you need gingivitis treatment, take a good look at your gums. Are there pale pink tissues anchoring your teeth, or do they run dusky red instead? Do they look firm or puffy?

Healthy gingivitis-free gums are pink and firm. Darker colors and puffiness signal possible gingivitis symptoms. If you're getting blood on your toothbrush or floss, or have chronic halitosis (bad breath for more than a few days), you just might need a gingivitis treatment. Luckily, this early stage of gum disease can be reversible with proper attention.

If you notice receding gums, bacteria now reside in periodontal pockets. That means your gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis, which is not reversible. You'll need a periodontist to help save your teeth or to place dental implants if your teeth are too far gone.

How to Treat Gingivitis and Bacterial Lifestyles Badly

Oral bacteria act like every other animal species on the planet. They reproduce, they eat and they make waste products. And if you keep feeding them, bacteria keep coming back for more food - dining and dishing out enough waste to form gingivitis-causing plaque. Too much plaque buildup puts you on the hunt for a gingivitis treatment, pronto.

The question of how to get rid of gingivitis is simple: Stop feeding oral bacteria carbohydrate-laden foods, and knock those bad buggers off the walls of your teeth when you do eat starchy and sugary things.

Brushing teeth after breakfast and just before bed will help, since it takes gingivitis-forming plaque 24 hours to rebuild, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you can't brush after lunch, try this simple gingivitis treatment: Rinse your mouth with water. You should do this after snacking too, or stop snacking altogether.

Flossing before bed also helps because you'll remove food from between your teeth - where your toothbrush can't do its bulldozing work. If you don't remove plaque, it hardens into tartar or calculus. You'll need a dentist to get rid of your gingivitis and your calculus.

Running the Gingivitis Gauntlet

Some people are more prone to getting gingivitis symptoms and more serious gum disease than others. People with bad habits or with certain medical conditions are most at risk. Genetics play a role in severe gum disease for about 30 percent of the population, according to Colgate. Smoking, diabetes and immune deficiencies compound the problem for others. The Mayo Clinic adds people on certain medications, people with poor diets, and people with poor brushing and flossing habits to the risk list.

Making simple lifestyle changes could very well stop your gingivitis symptoms in its tracks, before it turns into something uglier. Visit the dentist who can monitor your progress and provide professional dental cleanings as needed. Between the two of you, you should be able to keep gingivitis and oral bacteria from populating your periodontal pockets.

Need to know how to treat gingivitis professionally? If you need a dentist to help keep your bacteria above your gum lines and at a reasonable level, please call us at 1-866-970-0441. We'll find a great dentist near you.

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