Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue and an early form of gum disease. The good news is gingivitis is reversible! But what can we do to help prevent gingivitis for our kids and ourselves?! Keep reading to learn more!
Plaque is a sticky film that naturally forms on our teeth and contains bacteria – this may appear as a white/yellow film on the teeth and along the gum line. As plaque forms and accumulates, it causes inflammation of the gum tissue, which looks puffy, red and may easily bleed and cause sore gums.
At this point, a good dental cleaning and a dental home care routine can help reverse this inflammation. Brushing at least 2 times per day and flossing daily will aid in removal of the gingivitis causing plaque and debris at home. Electric toothbrushes are a great tool for patients with gingival inflammation – the vibrations of electric brushes help reach missed areas of the tooth and do most of the hard brushing work! Many electric toothbrushes have built in timers (these help us brush for the appropriate amount of time to make sure we reach every tooth) and pressure sensors (these help us to not brush too hard which can cause damage to the gum tissue, such as gingival recession).
Holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards the gum line will ensure removal of the plaque that gets caught under and near the gum tissue – but we don’t want to brush too hard on the gum tissue! A soft bristled brush with gentle, circular motions is the perfect way to remove plaque or food debris from our teeth and keep our gums strong – we recommend staying away from medium or hard bristled toothbrushes when shopping for the perfect toothbrush 🙂
Gingivitis in children (and adults) is common! But we can help control it before it progresses into periodontal disease which can lead to irreversible bone loss and tissue damage.
Children and adults with gingival inflammation might benefit from more frequent visits with their dental provider to help the inflammation and plaque build up stay controlled. Have more questions about gingivitis? Ask your dental provider at Bite Size Pediatric Dentistry at your next visit! 🙂