Although gingivitis is not a widely understood word, it’s a medical condition that’s far more common than one might imagine.
The Journal of the American Dental Association states that a majority of adults suffer from gingivitis, an early symptom of periodontal – or gum – disease. It is an infection of the gums caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque on the surface of teeth. It could also be hereditary, caused by smoking, or result from hormonal changes occurring during menopause, menstruation, pregnancy, and puberty.
If left unchecked, gingivitis could lead to severe gum inflammation, bleeding, and periodontitis, resulting in the loss of teeth. It could also cause abscesses and infection in the jawbone – and, in extreme cases, trigger cardiovascular or lung disease.
Fortunately, most methods of dealing with gingivitis are not only DIY, but affordable as well.
Brush away the problem
Dental specialists are unanimous in their emphasis on regular flossing (at least twice a day) and correct brushing. You must hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth in order to cover both the gum and the tooth surface. Strokes need to be made in an upward direction so that the brush cleans the gum, passes over the gum line (where plaque accumulates), and then over the tooth. A circular motion would have to be adopted when brushing continuously, but as this might prove difficult at certain angles, it would help to invest in an electric rotary toothbrush.
Make that calcium connection
As gingivitis could lead to periodontal osteoporosis, a deterioration of the jawbone manifested by shrinking and brittleness, you should increase your intake of calcium by including dark greens, dairy products, and salmon in your diet. In addition to this, adopt an exercise regimen and avoid smoking.
A little extra care goes a long way
Apart from these measures, there are other remedial steps that you could take to make gingivitis a problem of the past. A regular massage of the gums using the thumb and index finger on either side will help increase blood circulation and hasten recovery. A once-a-day mouthwash will control bacterial build-up. And a lifestyle change with the accent on R&R will reduce stress, which is a contributing factor in almost all health-related problems.
Whatever course of action you choose to adopt, it wouldn’t cost much to take professional advice along the way.
Whether you’ve moved to a new place or are simply looking for a new dentist, finding quality dental care for your family can be a bit overwhelming. However, caring for your family’s teeth is essential for their health, especially if you have young children, and regular dental checkups are key. Before you choose a new dentist for your family, do your research and ask smart questions. This way, you can find a dental professional whose practice will be a perfect fit for your family’s needs.
What will my insurance cover?
Before you do anything else, your first step is to find out exactly what your insurance will cover. Not every dentist will take every kind of insurance, of course, and every insurance policy differs. Instead of spending your time calling around to multiple offices, call your insurance provider directly and ask them for a list of practices that they will work with. Taking this step can save you hours of hassle and a lot of trouble in the long run.
What is their dental philosophy?
Different dental offices have very different philosophies of care. For example, each dentist will have his or her own opinion on issues like pain management, anxiety prevention, and even sedation. While these differences are important to note for adults, they can make all the difference for a child. Will the dentist be able to provide the treatment options that you want? How do they deal with fearful children? Find out the answers to these questions before you book your first appointment.
Will they meet all of my family’s needs?
Just as every family is different, each family’s dental needs will be unique. For example, if you have a child with special needs, such as a sensory disorder, you’ll want to find a dentist who understands and can provide specialized services for that child. If you have older children who may need braces, find a dental practice that can provide braces or alignment alternatives. Or, if family members have cosmetic needs, look for a dentist that offers teeth whitening.
Is their location convenient?
No matter how good the website is, you can’t judge a dental practice just by its online presence. Instead, visit the office yourself before you call. This way, you will also be able to find out if it is in a convenient location, near main roads or public transportation. That will be especially important to note if you’ll ever need a ride home after an appointment. Finally, make sure that their location is in a safe neighborhood where you’ll feel comfortable visiting regularly.
Do I like the people there?
Before you make appointments for the rest of your family, go in for treatment yourself. That way, you can have a first-hand experience with the dental professionals and their staff before you take in your children. Make sure that you feel respected by the team, that the environment is welcoming, and that you are happy with the results.
It’s crucial that children learn the importance of taking care of their teeth. A good relationship with your new family dentist can set them up for years of good dental health and a lifetime of beautiful smiles.