Smile Solutions: Reducing Cavities and Preventing Gum Diseases
If you have started to notice that your gums and teeth are becoming more sensitive, you experience gum pain, there are more cavities in your teeth than usual, your problem may be more serious that eating too much sugar. You may suffer from a developing gum infection known as gingivitis. The good thing is that you are not alone. According to a 2012 study held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, one out of every two adult Americans over 30 years old has gingivitis or its more severe form, periodontal disease. Statistically, about 64.7 million American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, In adults who are 65 and older, this number rises up to 70%.
The good thing is that gingivitis, as well as periodontal disease, can be treated in a dentist’s office or even at home.
What is gingivitis?
If you are wondering what causes cavities and pain in gums, there is a high chance it is gingivitis. It is nothing more but the inflammation of the gum tissues. The main risk is that untreated gingivitis may lead to receding gums, tooth decay, and loose teeth. The source of this gum inflammation is bacteria living in your mouth. These bacteria may even infect teeth (plaque) and become tartar.
According to Mayo Clinic, you can recognize gingivitis by the following symptoms:
- Red and swollen gums;
- Bleeding when brushing your teeth;
- Pain and tenderness in the gums;
- Bad taste in the mouth along with bad breath;
- Pus between teeth and gums;
- A severe toothache (pain may spread on one side of your jaw).
Chronic, untreated gingivitis may lead to periodontitis. This is a more serious gum infection. Sometimes, periodontitis is called “a silent killer” because it may cause atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart attacks, a risk of stroke, cancer, premature births, and miscarriages.
As for the causes of gum infections leading to gingivitis and periodontitis, most of them can be prevented by changes in lifestyle choices. If you are guilty of one of the following, you may have to change your ways.
- Poor dental hygiene and rare visits to a dentist;
- Immune-related illnesses (like cancer or diabetes);
- Severe emotional stress;
- Incomplete nutrition;
- Excess consumption of sugar that may trigger Candidiasis and increase the risk of cavities in teeth.
Commonly, poor nutrition is the main reason for gingivitis. That is why the experts from WebMD team recommend avoiding these foods if you aim for a successful gum disease cure:
- Sugary foods may feed the bacteria causing gingivitis and other teeth problems;
- Artificial fruit juices with sugar;
- Processed foods with many chemical and sugar additives;
- Unsprouted and unfermented grains with phytic acid;
- Hydrogenated oils (like vegetable, canola, corn, and soybean oils) that may increase the risk of inflammation of the whole body.
Instead, opt for a gingivitis-fighting diet, which may significantly enhance gum disease treatment. This diet should include such foods:
- Wild-caught fish (including mackerel, salmon, and sardines, rich in omega-3 fatty acids).
- Fresh vegetable juices that may naturally reduce inflammation and supply essential nutrients;
- Chewing gum with Xylitol because this ingredient may prevent the build-up of oral bacteria;
- Raw vegetables and apples may naturally clean your teeth and reduce the risk of getting a dental cavity;
- Fat soluble vitamins that can be found in coconut, any grass-fed animal meat, raw milk, beef liver, and bone broth may also fight cavities in children and prevent gingivitis.
First-choice medications for gum treatment
In order to reduce red and swollen gums, you may try using any over-the-counter medicine for a toothache with anti-inflammatory effects of the following groups of drugs:
1) Regular mouth rinses with antiseptics and home remedies for decreasing bacteria in your oral cavity:
2) Antibiotics for gum infections can help cope with acute forms of gingivitis (also called an abscess).
However, the wisest choice is to visit a dentist as soon you notice symptoms of gingivitis. Only a professional dentist can find the cause of your gum infection and provide a successful gum treatment plan.
The importance of oral hygiene
After visiting your dentist and receiving a treatment plan, it is important to follow some basic rules of oral hygiene. It is quite simple to do (and you have probably known these common rules since you were young):
- Brush your teeth twice a day;
- Brush your teeth for two minutes;
- Floss once a day;
- Use a mouthwash or rinse as recommended by your dentist.
Also, you need to keep your condition under the control. For this purpose, you should visit your dentist’s office regularly for evaluation checks and X-Rays. And at last, but not least, it is important to understand that preventing a gum infection is much easier than treating it.