Overlooked Causes of Gingivitis


You are probably under the impression that as long as you brush and floss regularly, your mouth will remain free of gingivitis. While you know that this bacterial infection often occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene, you may not have a solid handle on what good oral hygiene actually entails. In addition, this disease that may eventually lead to disastrous consequences, including tooth loss, may not stem solely from lax brushing habits. Fortunately, once you know the ins-and-outs of how to prevent gingivitis from developing, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is easy. According to Dr. Hussong, prevention is the best medicine for gum disease.

Do You Practice Optimal Home Health?

As an adult who has been brushing your teeth for decades, the last thing you probably ask yourself is whether you brush and floss correctly. When your Polk City IA dentist, Dr. Hussong inquires whether you brush and floss regularly, you likely answer with a self-assured “Yes.” However, brushing and flossing every day is only effective if you are practicing proper technique. Consider essential aspects of good home hygiene habits you may be overlooking:

  • Always use a soft-bristle brush. Hard bristles may feel uncomfortable, causing you to focus on your teeth while neglecting your gums and the areas of your teeth near your gumline, where plaque accumulates.
  • Brush gently, holding your toothbrush horizontally. Turn the brush toward your gums at a 45-degree angle. You want to clean all tooth surfaces as well as your gum tissue along your teeth.
  • Floss your teeth by gently sliding the dental floss between two teeth. Rather than simply moving the floss up and down to remove debris, cup it around one tooth, forming a C-shape. Carefully drag the floss beneath your gumline and up to remove plaque. Reverse the “C-shape” and repeat this process to remove plaque from the other tooth. Continue throughout your mouth until you have cleaned between all of your teeth. 

Stop Rescheduling Your Checkups and Cleanings

Your teeth feel clean and look white after brushing, so rescheduling your checkup and cleaning at Cornerstone Dental will not make much of an impact, right? Wrong. The only way to thoroughly remove gingivitis-causing plaque from your teeth is with a professional cleaning.  Every day you postpone a cleaning, sticky plaque and tartar buildup may move further beneath your gumline. The bacteria harbored within plaque and tartar release acids throughout the day, quickly resulting in the uncomfortable, inflamed gums that accompany gingivitis.

Coming in to see Dr. Hussong for a preventive dentistry cleaning removes the buildup, which leads to gingivitis and advanced gum disease.  Dr. Hussong can also diagnose, treat, and reverse gingivitis that has already begun if he catches the disease early. Keep your cleanings and checkups scheduled every six months to remain gingivitis free.

Take A Holistic Approach

Gingivitis may develop from other issues that are not as obvious as poor oral hygiene. Consider your overall habits and health that you may not realize play a significant role in gingivitis:

  • Certain medications may alter the saliva levels in your mouth. Because saliva helps control bacterial growth, reduced production can provide an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. This imbalance may lead to gingivitis.
  • You may be predisposed to gingivitis and subsequent gum disease as a result of hereditary or poor nutritional intake. Speak with Dr. Hussong if you need extra guidance in preventing disease, or if you think you may be experiencing a lack of calcium and essential nutrients.
  • Misaligned teeth that make it difficult or impossible for you to effectively clean all surfaces and gum tissue can promote gingivitis. Correcting your alignment for straight, easy-to-access-teeth is made possible with braces.

About Dr. Ryan Hussong:

Dr. Hussong is committed to providing comprehensive family dentistry to his patients, including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services. Whether you are looking for a dentist to improve the appearance or health of your smile, or if you simply need a family dentist for professional checkups and cleanings, Dr. Hussong looks forward to caring for your dental needs. Contact our Cornerstone Dental office today at (515) 984-6001 to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve residents of Polk City, Ankeny, Grimes, Ames, Johnston, Urbandale, and Des Moines.