Even if you take extra-good care of your teeth and gums at home, you still need to visit your dentist twice a year. If you have risk factors for developing gingivitis such as diabetes, smoking or a family history of gum disease, you may need to go more often. A professional cleaning at your dentist's office gets rid of plaque that your routine brushing and flossing may miss, and it's the only way to remove hardened tartar from your teeth. After assessing your oral health, your dentist may make further recommendations for keeping gingivitis at bay, such as using a special toothpaste or mouthwash.
In addition to cleaning your teeth, your dental hygienist will check your mouth for signs of oral cancer, a serious and common cancer that's frequently curable when detected in the early stages. You'll probably be asked about health changes, too -- some serious health conditions, like HIV and osteoporosis, are often first detected by changes in your oral health [source: ADHA].
These home remedies will aid in fighting gingivitis, but it's not a one-time thing. Gingivitis is always lurking just around the next bicuspid, waiting for a chance to come back. Establishing a thorough oral health routine that includes all these steps will help keep your teeth, gums and overall health in good condition.
More Great Links
- American Dental Association. "Pregnant? Tips for Keeping Your Smile Healthy." Journal of the American Dental Association. January 2004, p. 127. (Aug. 25, 2011) http://www.ada.org/sections/publicResources/pdfs/patient_34.pdf
- American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA). "Oral Health -- Total Health: Know the Connection." (Aug. 24, 2011) http://www.adha.org/media/facts/total_health.htm
- Charles, C.H., et al. "Comparative antiplaque and antigingivitis effectiveness of a chlorhexidine and an essential oil mouthrinse: 6-month clinical trial." Journal of Clinical Periodontology. October 2004. Vol. 31, Issue 10, pp. 878-884. (Aug. 24, 2011)http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-051X.2004.00578.x/full
- Cure Gingivitis. "Tips to Prevent and Cure Gingivitis." (Aug. 25, 2011) http://curegingivitis.com/TipsToCureGingivitis.htm
- WebMD. "Root planing and scaling for gum disease." Aug. 21, 2009. (Aug. 30, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/root-planing-and-scaling-for-gum-disease
- Kamer, Angela R., et al. "Inflammation and Alzheimer's disease: Possible role of periodontal disease." Alzheimer's and Dementia. Vol. 4, Issue 4. July 2008. (Aug. 30, 2011) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1552526007006218
- Mayo Clinic. "Gingivitis." Nov. 18, 2010. (Aug. 25, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gingivitis/DS00363/DSECTION=symptoms
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). "Gingivitis."U.S. National Library of Medicine. Feb. 22, 2010. (Aug. 25, 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002051/
- Rothstein, J.P. and American Dental Association. "Considerations for Treating the Dental Patient with Diabetes." American Dental Association. 2003. (Aug. 24, 2011) http://www.ada.org/sections/professionalResources/pdfs/diabetes_0309_insert.pdf
- Sutton, Julie, RDH, MS. "Secondhand Smoke and Risk for Periodontitis." American Dental Hygienists Association. May-June, 2011. (Aug. 24, 2011) http://www.adha.org/publications/strive/05-06-2011-strive.htm
- Zamora, Dulce. "The Health Perils of Gum Disease." WebMD. 2005. (Aug. 24, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/health-perils-of-gum-disease
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