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How to Tell if Your Gingivitis is Going Away

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The symptoms of gingivitis are so mild that it is possible that a sufferer may not even be aware that they have it. Unlike periodontitis, the more advanced version of gum disease, gingivitis can be reversed. However, if left untreated for too long, even mild gum disease can progress to periodontitis. That's why it is important that you act quickly to prevent this from happening.

If you have noticed that your gums are slightly swollen and have changed colour from a healthy pink to a deep red, it's time to upgrade your oral hygiene practices. Fortunately, gingivitis can be cured easily and relatively quickly. You should be able to notice the changes in the appearance of your gums within a few days.

The Signs to Look out For

Once you take measures to cure your gum disease, such as going for a dental cleaning to remove tartar, and improving your oral hygiene practices, you will begin to see fast improvements. Healthy gums are a light shade of pink as opposed to the dark red of infected gums. The triangular sections of gum tissue between your teeth should also be pink with no visible swelling.

Unhealthy gums also pull away from teeth, creating pockets. Healthy gums should have pockets no deeper than 1-3mm in depth. Unhealthy gums, on the other hand, have much deeper pockets where bacteria reside and eventually cause the supporting bone to resorb. If your gums are pink, have pockets no more than 3mm, and are no longer swollen then your gums are now returning to normal.

Of course, the most obvious sign is the lack of bleeding whilst brushing.

Things that will NOT Speed up Your Recovery

Provided you keep up to date with your oral care practices, your gums should recover within 2-7 days. However, do not try to rush the recovery process by brushing your teeth and along the gum line harder and more vigorously than usual. The same goes for flossing. This will only further irritate your gums and even lead to gum recession.

Gargle warm salt water throughout the day, brush along your gum line with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use Listerine to help fight the infection. Massaging your gums also helps but be very careful as even a small laceration may spread the infection further.

If you notice that your gums are red and inflamed, first, book a dental appointment so that your dentist can evaluate the infection and check that there are no cavities along the gum line. You should then improve on your current dental care practices to ensure that the gum disease does not return.