Periodontist.co.nz

Your guide to oral care and oral problems !

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Gingivitis can be prevented through regular oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing. Interdental brushes are also useful in cleaning the teeth from plaque. Hydrogen peroxide, saline, alcohol or chlorhexidine mouth washes may also be employed. In a recent clinical study, the beneficial effect of hydrogen peroxide on gingivitis has been highlighted. Rigorous plaque control programs along with periodontal scaling and curettage also have proved to be helpful, although according to the American Dental Association, periodontal scaling and root planing are considered as a treatment to periodontal disease, not as a preventive treatment for periodontal disease. In a 1997 review of effectiveness data the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found clear evidence which showed that toothpaste containing triclosan was effective in preventing gingivitis.

In many countries, such as the United States, mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine are available only by prescription.

Researchers analyzed government data on calcium consumption and periodontal disease indicators in nearly 13,000 U.S. adults. They found that men and women who had calcium intakes of fewer than 500 milligrams, or about half the recommended dietary allowance, were almost twice as likely to have gum disease, as measured by the loss of attachment of the gums from the teeth. The association was particularly evident for people in their 20s and 30s.

Preventing gum disease may also benefit a healthy heart. According to physicians with The Institute for Good Medicine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society, good oral health can reduce risk of cardiac events. Poor oral health can lead to infections that can travel within the bloodstream.

Treatment

The focus of treatment for gingivitis is removal of the etiologic (causative) agent, plaque. Therapy is aimed at the reduction of oral bacteria, and may take the form of regular periodic visits to a dental professional together with adequate oral hygiene home care. Thus, several of the methods used in the prevention of gingivitis can also be used for the treatment of manifest gingivitis, such as scaling, root planing, curettage, mouth washes containing chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide, and flossing. Interdental brushes also help remove any causative agents.

Recent scientific studies have also shown the beneficial effects of mouthwashes with essential oils.