Gingivitis refers to an inflammation of the dental gums, which are also referred to as gingiva. Gingivitis is characterized by red, tender and swollen gums which tend to bleed pretty easily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gingivitis is partly responsible for halitosis or bad breath in special cases. Gingivitis can easily be treated by eating a balanced diet, practicing appropriate dental hygiene and giving up smoking. When left untreated, gingivitis can degenerate into periodontitis which is an inflammatory disease of the tissues and gums that support and surround the teeth. This disease affects the periodontium which is made up of the alveolar bone, connectivity tissue, cementum, sulcus (space between the tooth and gum) and gingiva. This disease develops as a result of bacteria increase in the oral cavity and a change in the type of bacteria present in the mouth i.e. from harmless bacteria to disease-causing bacteria. Periodontitis is a chronic disease that has the potential of leaving you toothless if not treated early.
Appropriate dental hygiene incorporates several approaches which include the use of tooth floss, fluoride toothpastes and mouthwash. There are special types of mouthwash for gingivitis which are recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). The special types of mouthwashes are referred to as antimicrobial mouthwashes like those produced by Scope and they are quite effective. They also help reduce plaque. Fluoride mouthwashes on the other hand are vital in protecting your teeth against teeth decay.
The antimicrobial mouthwash for gingivitis is sometimes issued by prescription with the patients being advised to rinse for at least 60 seconds twice in a day. In between brushing and rinsing, it is advisable to wait at least half an hour as some of the compounds found in toothpastes tend to deactivate some of the active ingredients used in the manufacture of the mouthwash. Scope is a antimicrobial mouthwash that is manufactured using cetylpyridinum and is effective against plaque especially when used one hour after brushing. However, the battle against gingivitis can only be effective if it is fought from all fronts.
The following lifestyle changes are effective in eliminating periodontal diseases such as gingivitis. The first lifestyle change that you should undertake is your diet. A good and robust oral health can only be achieved if you observe a nutritious and well balanced diet. Ensure that you limit all snacks that come in between meals as much as possible. After every meal, remember to brush with fluoride toothpaste before removing any food particles that may be stuck on your teeth with dental floss. Drinking lots of water in order to eliminate plaque and help boost your saliva levels is also recommended.
The other lifestyle change that you have to effect is quitting smoking. Smoking has been found to be a major cause of gingivitis and other periodontal diseases. Smoking leads to stained teeth, lack of oxygen in the oral cavity and halitosis. Indeed, quitting smoking altogether would be a critical step towards regaining the perfect oral health.