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GingiFIGHTis . . . How to fight gingivitis!

How long does it take for gingivitis to go away?

If your gums are swollen and red, you could be suffering from gingivitis. Gingivitis is a condition that, if left untreated, may cause severe pain and the rotting of your teeth. It is not always painful, so it can be difficult to diagnose if you do not regularly visit your dentist.  What are the causes and symptoms of gingivitis? And if you do recognize that you’re suffering from gingivitis, what are possible treatment plans and how long will it take for the bacteria to go away? Dr. Mark Washburn, your Salinas dentist, wants you to recognize the signs so you can make sure your teeth stay healthy.

What causes gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a type of gum inflammation that is caused by bacteria that live around your gum line, and several kinds of bacteria can lead to this condition. The umbrella term for the variety of bacteria and mucus that live in your mouth is ‘plaque’. You are more at risk of acquiring gingivitis if you do not regularly exercise good oral hygiene; however, certain individuals are more prone to gingivitis than others. Pregnant women, menopausal women, diabetics, individuals suffering from AIDS, and leukemia patients are all more likely to suffer from inflamed gums.

What are the symptoms of gingivitis?

Although some people experience tenderness or pain in the gums, you might not necessarily experience pain as an early symptom of gingivitis. One of the first signs of gingivitis is swelling and redness of your gums. This is often accompanied by bleeding when you brush. If left untreated long enough, you may also develop white or yellow sores inside your mouth.

How can you treat gingivitis, and how long will treatment take?

While there are several ways your dentist might treat gingivitis, you can aid your recovery by brushing your teeth regularly, rinsing with warm water and salt, and gently massaging your gums. In addition, you might be prescribed medications to help with the healing process, so be sure to take these according to your doctor’s orders.

Generally, your gums will go back to normal less than ten days after beginning the treatment process. This does depend on the severity of the gingivitis, as well as any preexisting conditions that might have led to gingivitis. For example, if you are a diabetic and therefore at a higher risk of developing gingivitis, you will need to ensure that a doctor treats your diabetes properly, as well as the gingivitis itself. If you have a vitamin C deficiency, a doctor will need to help you restore your vitamin C levels in order to treat your gingivitis and prevent reoccurrences of the inflammation. Although most cases of gingivitis are fairly quick to treat, if your gingivitis has gotten serious enough, it will likely take longer than ten days for the infection to subside. Depending on the severity, you might require a deep cleaning or even surgery in order to thoroughly treat the disease.

The key to recovering quickly from gingivitis is being aware of the symptoms, going to the dentist as soon as symptoms are noticed, and following your doctor’s orders. Maintaining good oral hygiene and taking care of your general health can help you avoid gingivitis in the first place.

To make sure that you are on the right path to preventing and eliminating gingivitis, or if you need some assistance with oral care in the Salinas, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Aptos, or Watson Valley area, contact Dr. Mark Washburn so he and his staff can help get you on the way to a healthy mouth.