Does your gum bleed when you floss or brush your teeth? Is your gum red/swollen and painful to the touch? If you have the above symptoms, you probably have gingivitis (a.k.a. inflammation of the gum).
If you are wondering why you are in this midst of misfortune, that is because you have not been brushing and flossing properly. But panic not; gingivitis is a very mild form of periodontal disease, and it can be reversed easily. When brushing and flossing is poorly (or not at all for some people…) carried out, bacteria adhere to the surface to your teeth. Soon enough, they will begin to establish colonies as they multiply, this is called a dental plaque. The plaque tend to form in the groove between teeth and gum, hence they are called plaque traps. Your body does not appreciate the uninvited bacteria residents. As a result, your gum becomes inflamed.
If you leave gingivitis untreated, it almost always leads to periodontitis. When it happens, bacteria travel deeper down the gum line, and destroy the ligament around your teeth. In serious cases, it leads to the loss of the tooth, but that’s a story for another time.
Fortunately, reversing gingivitis is easy. So easy you can do it yourself at home. The goal is to remove the bacteria from the accumulated areas. You can also rinse with warm salt water to reduce the inflammation. Once the bacteria are gone, your body will begin its own healing process, and it should heal within two weeks.