Prompt treatment usually reverses symptoms of gingivitis and prevents its progression to more serious gum disease and tooth loss. Effective treatment requires professional care followed by stepped up oral hygiene at home.
Professional gingivitis care includes:
- An initial evaluation and thorough dental cleaning to remove all traces of plaque and tartar
- Instruction on effective home brushing and flossing techniques
- Regular professional checkups and cleaning
- Possibly fixing crowns or fillings (dental restorations) that make good hygiene difficult
Your initial professional cleaning will include use of dental instruments to remove all traces of plaque and tartar — a procedure known as scaling. Scaling may be uncomfortable, especially if your gums are already sensitive or you have extensive plaque and tartar buildup.
Misaligned teeth or poorly fitting crowns, bridges or other dental restorations may irritate your gums and make it harder to remove plaque during daily home care. If problems with your teeth or dental restorations contribute to your gingivitis, your dentist may recommend fixing these problems.
Gingivitis usually clears up after a thorough professional cleaning — as long as you continue good oral hygiene at home. Your dentist will help you plan an effective at-home program.
Jan. 22, 2014
- Gingivitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental_disorders/periodontal_disorders/gingivitis.html. Accessed June 24, 2013.
- Wilder RS, et al. Gingivitis and periodontitis in adults: Classification and dental treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 24, 2013.
- Gingivitis. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/types-gum-disease.html. Accessed June 24, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed June 25, 2013.
- Kawar N, et al. Periodontal disease for the primary care physician. Disease-a-Month. 2011;57:174.
- Darby I. Non-surgical management of periodontal disease. Australian Dental Journal 2009;54(suppl):S86.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 14, 2013.
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