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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Gingivitis is an infection in your gums caused by bacteria. Gingivitis occurs when there is a buildup of plaque (sticky film) on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that can irritate your gums and cause an infection.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your dentist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
How to prevent gingivitis:
- Brush your teeth: This will help remove plaque. Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. A battery-powered toothbrush may remove plaque better than a regular toothbrush.
- Floss your teeth: Use dental floss to clean between your teeth at least once a day.
- Use dental rinse: You may need a special dental rinse. This helps reduce plaque and decrease swollen gums. Ask your dentist what kind to use.
- Get regular checkups: See your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and oral exams.
Contact your dentist if:
- You have a fever.
- Your gums bleed every time you brush or floss your teeth.
- Your gums hurt when you touch them.
- You cannot use a toothbrush or dental floss because of the pain.
- You have a sore or lump on your gums that stays for over 3 weeks.
- You have 1 or more loose teeth.
- Your face or neck is swollen.
- You have questions about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have trouble swallowing or breathing because your mouth and throat are swollen.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.