Q: I am 24 years old and until recently had not been to a dentist since my pre-kindergarten screening. I am thankful to report, despite 5 years of chewing tobacco (I did quit for good 2 1/2 years ago), that the dentist reported no cavities and a “great set of teeth”. He did tell me that I have some gingivitis in the gums and told me to keep an eye on it. Is there a way to reverse the effects or just maintain? What mouth washes and toothpastes should I use and what should I stay away from?
A: If you keep up excellent oral hygiene techniques you can usually keep the gingivitis under control. I am assuming that you had a full series of digital x rays to rule out any bone loss? There are many mouth rinses on the market which can aid in controlling the bacteria surrounding the gums. You can consult the dentist who diagnosed your gingivitis to recommend specific products. I would recommend seeing your dentist 3-4 times a year for cleanings and close follow up. Please don’t wait years again to see your dentist.