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Gingivitis, Bleeding Gums, Dental Health

Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis refers to the inflammation of the gums generally caused by plaque and tartar accumulation. Bacteria in the plaque infect the tissues surrounding the teeth which includes the gums and bone. When the gums get infected they swell, become red and bleed. They can also become painful. Gingivitis can lead to other periodontal diseases and cause tooth and bone loss. Studies have also shown that periodontal diseases can increase the risk of atherosclerosis and stroke. This is because bacteria from dental plaque can cause blood to clot and build up arterial plaque.

What are the symptoms of gingivitis?

  • Gums become swollen
  • Gums shrink and become red instead of a healthy pink
  • Gums become painful
  • Bad breath

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    What causes gingivitis?

    Gums get infected by bacteria when the body's immune system breaks down. This can happen for several reasons.
  • Plaque contains large amounts of bacteria and when plaque is allowed to develop between gums for extended periods of time, the bacteria start invading the tissues. At first the body's defence mechanisms kick in. Cells such as macrophages destroy bacteria by dissolving them with chemicals and consuming them. But these chemicals while destroying bacteria also damage the other gum cells as well.
  • Sometimes an existing illness such as diabetes, leukemia, Wegner disease, Addison disease and HIV promotes gingivitis since persons with these diseases have compromised immune systems.
  • Pregnancy and puberty cause changes in hormones that can also cause gums to be prone to gingivitis
  • Certain medications for high blood pressure and seizures can also break down the body's immune system and permit bacterial infection of the gums.

    How can gingivitis be prevented?

    Daily brushing and flossing along with regular visits to the dentist aid in the removal of plaque and prevention of gingivitis

    It is also important to build up the body's immune system to withstand infections.

    Natural remedies to prevent gingivitis?

    Ayurveda recommends building the body's natural defense systems to prevent bacterial infection and overall good health. This applies to dental care as well.
    • Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing teeth in the morning and night and also flossing to remove any food particles. Also clean the tongue.
    • Add lemon juice to warm water and rinse daily.
    • Neem is considered excellent for the teeth. Rub neem oil on the gums. Do not use if pregnant
    • Clove oil is also good for gums
    • Use a herbal toothpaste such as Himalaya Herbal Dental Cream which contains well known herbal dental care ingredients such as Neem, Toothache Tree, Five Leaved Chaste tree, Indian gum arabic tree and triphala


    The Medical Advisor - The complete guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments

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    Products for Oral Care

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    Neem is excellent for oral care
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    Himalaya Complete Care Toothpaste
    Soothes gums, promotes healthy teeth, gums
    Himalaya Herbals Dental Cream


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