Gingivitis Remedies & Treatments

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease, caused when bacteria living on a buildup of plaque infect the gumline near a tooth or teeth. While most people miss or ignore the early signs of gingivitis — bleeding gums, bad breath, tenderness, and temperature sensitivity — leaving gingivitis untreated can develop into serious gum disease. (And gum disease can lead to other impacts on your overall health).

If you are anxious about a trip to the dentist, do not worry; most early or mild cases of gingivitis don’t even need dentist intervention. With a few changes to your hygiene and lifestyle habits, treating gingivitis can be simple and effective. Read on to get our top tips for how to get rid of gingivitis at home.

Home Remedies for Gingivitis: Myth or Medicine?

While there has been some promising research around the effectiveness of several home remedies for gingivitis, the science is still out on their overall effectiveness due to the limited number of studies that were conducted. However, many individual people have reported success with reducing the symptoms of their mild to moderate gingivitis with rinses containing:

  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Tea tree oil

Most of these treatments’ effectiveness relies on their disinfectant properties, but the high acidity or volatility of many of these ingredients can also irritate the already inflamed, delicate skin of the gums in more advanced gingivitis cases. Be sure to talk to your dentist about any at-home remedies before trying them to make sure that they’re right for you.

Over the Counter Product Options

In addition to treatments made from commonly-found home ingredients, there are several readily-available gingivitis treatments found on the shelves of your local pharmacy, grocery store, or specialty store. You may also find many of these at online retailers.

Antiseptic mouthwash is the most common solution to gingivitis and, with regular use, will help kill the bacteria causing inflammation and allow your gums to heal. If you’re not already using it, toothpaste with fluoride can also help with gingivitis symptoms. While it may be hard to find, medicated gum can also help deliver antiseptics between brushings to neutralize plaque and reduce symptoms and inflammation.

Common Ways to Prevent Gingivitis

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to treat gingivitis at home is to prevent getting gingivitis in the first place with good at-home hygiene and gum-friendly lifestyle choices. Some good practices to follow include:

  • Brush at least twice a day, and preferably after each meal
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Get professional cleanings regularly, at least twice a year (your dentist may recommend more frequently if your symptoms are persistent)
  • Avoid smoking or tobacco products completely
  • Avoid eating and drinking too much sugar, which can build plaque more quickly
  • Reduce stress, which can reduce inflammation throughout your body — including the gums
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day

When to See a Dentist

While most cases of early to mild gingivitis can be treated and managed at home, sometimes dentist intervention is necessary. Schedule an appointment with a provider if:

  • Home remedies and over-the-counter products are not effective
  • Symptoms persist or worsen
  • You experience severe pain or bleeding

Talk to Your Dentist

Every mouth is different, so you may find that a combination of the above remedies works best for you. The most effective gingivitis treatment is one that you and your dentist are happy with, so do not be afraid to start an ongoing conversation with your provider. Schedule an appointment with your local Affordable Dentures & Implants Practice to speak with a specialist today.

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