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Gummy Care

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Gingivitis is an affliction that most people suffer from at some stage in their lives, and is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when touched or brushed.

Gingivitis is an affliction that most people suffer from at some stage in their lives, and is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when touched or brushed.

It is the first sign of gum disease, and occurs when the gums become irritated by a build-up of plaque at the base of the teeth. Sticky and yellow, plaque is colonized bacteria that begins to form on the teeth after eating, and accumulates through poor oral hygiene.

This bacteria produces waste products such as acids which can cause decay, toxins which break down gum tissues, and gases such as sulfides which cause bad breath.

These symptoms can happen very quickly. As a student, I volunteered to be part of a study observing these changes. For two weeks I did not brush or floss the upper right quarter of my mouth. Each day, fluid and bacteria samples were taken from the space between my teeth and gums. After four days, my gums were swollen enough for bleeding to take place. When the study was over, it took a full week of brushing and flossing for my gums to heal.

In some cases, gums that bleed after brushing or flossing is a sign of periodontitis. This is caused by bacteria descending through the gums to the bone, and can develop if gingivitis is left unchecked. The bone becomes inflamed and can lead to permanent bone loss as well as teeth loosening and falling out.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best treatment for gingivitis is prevention. Consult a dentist if you are unsure about how to brush and floss your teeth effectively. Some antimicrobial mouth rinses can help, and tea tree oil products are also antimicrobial, and have a positive effect.

The best strategy, however, is to remove the offensive plaque by brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Pay regular visits to the dentist for extensive hygiene therapy, and be sure to replace your toothbrush three to four times a year.

Before you know it, you'll have fresh breath, a clean, sparkling smile, and pink, healthy gums.

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