Gingivitis is a disease of the gums around the teeth which occurs due to deposition of plaque, bacterial biofilm, on the surfaces of tooth. The plaque deposition eventually grows and hardens and forms tartar thereby causing infection. If the condition is untreated it can lead to periodontal disease and subsequently tooth loss as the affected gums separate from the teeth, thereby making the teeth unstable and loose. The disease is characterised by inflammation of the gums (gingivia) that causes swelling, irritation and redness in them. Gingivitis is caused mainly due to poor maintenance of oral hygiene. Symptoms of gingivitis are dark red swollen gums which often bleed quite easily while blushing or flossing, tender and receding gums and bad breath. The risk factors and causes for gingivitis are not very clear but several reasons can be held responsible like development and unchecked growth of plaque on the spaces between and on the surfaces of teeth, some other underlying illness like diabetes or HIV or due to excessive smoking or chewing tobacco and drinking too much alcohol. A few instances like puberty, steroid therapy and pregnancy can also make the gums susceptible to gum infection due to bacteria. A simple gingivitis treatment may require maintenance of good oral hygiene and a few sessions with the dentist for cleaning the teeth. If the condition still exists and also advances to serious conditions, proper medical attention is required. Professional care for treating gingivitis will include dental cleaning by dentists, dental restoration if need be and on-going dental care.
The treatment method of gingivitis basically requires maintaining good oral hygiene and removal of plaque from the teeth. Maintenance of oral hygiene is aimed at reducing oral bacteria with the help of your dental professional. Dentists use powered toothbrushes to remove the plaque from the teeth. Other ingredients used for plaque and inflammation reduction are chlorhexidine digluconate, triclosan and a composition containing menthol, methyl salicylate, eucalyptol and thymol. Mouthwash and toothpastes containing these ingredients are used to maintain oral hygiene. Bacterial gingivitis can also be controlled using mouthwash containing an antibiotic like cephalexin, minocycline or amoxicillin along with non-alcoholic fluoride. You dental professional will carry out dental cleaning, dental restoration and continual care of your teeth so that future gingivitis does not occur. In professional dental cleaning, the dentist uses scaling ad root planning procedures to remove plaque and associated bacterial products and tartar. The method of scaling includes removal of bacteria and tartar from the gaps in between the teeth, while in root planning the bacterial products are removed thereby reducing the inflammation of the gums and smoothening the surfaces of roots of teeth. The procedure prevents further development of bacteria and tartar on the teeth. The instruments used for such dental cleaning involves ultrasonic or laser device. Dental restorations are done in case of misaligned teeth with the help of bridges or dental clips. Such dental restorations may contribute to development of plaque and tartar and will be required to clean up. The dental professional will also make a plan for you to maintain a good oral hygiene at home so that further infection is prevented. You may also be needed to pay regular visits to the dentist for routine check-ups.
People who get inflammation of the gums due to development of plaque and tartar in between the teeth and beneath the gums, the gums become red and make you feel irritated and bleed easily while brushing and flossing, you will be eligible for the treatment.
People who have plaque deposition on their teeth, which most people have, but do not have gum inflammation that could lead to gingivitis or more severe condition called periodontitis, will not be eligible for the treatment.
Although, treatment for gingivitis do not have many side effects but chlorhexidine gluconate can have a few non-serious side effects like dry mouth, tongue swelling, unpleasant taste in mouth, mouth and throat irritation, decreased taste sensation and very rarely mouth sores.
After the plaque, tartar and bacterial product removal from the teeth and reduction of gum inflammation, it is necessary that the person maintains good oral hygiene. The dentist often gives a plan to follow such hygiene at home so that further infection does not happen again. It is recommended to floss thoroughly after every meal, brush the teeth at least thrice a day, not pushing too hard while brushing, preferably using a soft toothbrush, using substances to irrigate your teeth and gums so that the debris is cleaned out easily and using a toothpaste that is especially used for controlling tartar growth.
It takes around 10- 14 days to recover completely from gingivitis after the cleaning procedure by the dentist.
The price of treating gingivitis in India ranges from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,000 including all the sessions at the dentist and the cleaning substances like mouthwashes, toothpaste and tooth brushes.
Yes the results are permanent only if good dental hygiene is maintained.
If the condition worsens like excessive inflammation of gums and if simple steps of controlling gingivitis do not work then help from dental professional will be required. Otherwise, the alternatives to simple gingivitis can be regular brushing and flowing of teeth, brushing of teeth at least thrice a day, using over the counter mouthwashes and toothpaste containing essential oils like menthol, thymol, lemon grass oil and clove oil, also using warm saline water to floss after every meal, aloe vera mouth wash, guava leaf mouthwash, flossing with oils like coconut oil or Arimedadi oil also help inhibit plaque growth and improve gingivitis symptoms.