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.