Gum inflammation is nowadays a very common desease. According to SEPA, the Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration, 95% of the Mediterranean area population has some kind of problem with gums. If you are among the other 5%, congratulations! If not, continue reading… 

Causes for Gum Inflammation

Gums may become inflamed for several reasons, and the cause for it must be treated. Regarding the cause, the inflammation will be more or less severe.

. Gum reaction to a strange agent:

It’s produced by some food, bone, chip; by using teeth as tools… It will cure soon, but you must pay attention to their hygiene those days.

. Reaction to medicaments or sensitivity to tooth paste or mouthwashes:

In case some tooth paste or mouthwash produces inflammation or irritation, it’s convenient to change that brand. It’s usually due to some additive. In case it’s due to any medicament, you must ask your doctor and value the possibility to change it.

.  Viruses or fungal infections:

Some viral infections as for instance those produced by Herpes simplex virus may cause gum inflammation and mouth ulcer, among other symptoms. There are also fungi, like candida, which may produce oral deseases like tongue inflammation or gum bleeding… Then, it would be necessary to treat these problems so the inflammation diminishes.

. Nutritional deficiencies. Scurvy:

The deficiency of some vitamins like C vitamin, ascorbic acid or some minerals like iron may produce the inflammation. We will have to change our diet so it gets as balanced as possible. In case it is necessary, we will have to take supplements under medical supervision.

. Hormonal imbalance:

There are certain stages like puberty, pregnancy of menopause in which hormonal changes may affect gums. This is a transitory situation. We must extreme hygiene during these stages, but noticing that our mouth will be more sensitive too.

. Dental devices:

Dental devices like brackets, fixed or removable prostheses, dental ornaments, piercings… complicate cleaning our mouth and may irritate our gums. If they are badly placed, their damage to our gums may increase.

. Systemic desases:

There are deseases like diabetes which affect the immune system and, therefore, to our gums health.
Gum inflammation

Gum desease

. Gingivitis:

It’s the most common desease affecting the gums. It’s caused by the accumulation of dental plaque where the teeth and gums join together. After a while, the plaque turns into hardened dental plaque, calculus, which irritate the gums. Bacteria and toxins produced may infect the soft tissues and cause gingivitis (gingiva or gum inflammation). It’s important to treat it, as it may lead to periodontitis (pyorrhea).

. Periodontitis or pyorrhea:

In this case, the infection reaches the bone, risking the support of our teeth. In case it’s not treated, we may lose our dental pieces and the infection may reach the bloodstream, affecting other organs. It’s already proved the relation between dental infections and heart deseases, so it would be a shame to suffer some heart desease as a consequence of not visiting the dentist.

. Peri-Implant Mucositis and peri-implantitis:

We may say it’s the same desease as gingivitis and periodontitis, but in case we have dental implants instead of natural teeth. Managing dental implants to last in perfect conditions, we must care them and reinforce hygiene. Implants do not suffer tooth decay, but gums may be affected.
gum inflammation, pyorrhea

Symptoms of periodontitis

  • Gum inflammation and bright red colour
  • Gingival retraction. Gums retract and so the root of the tooth is exposed
  • Gaps between teeth caused by gum retraction
  • Dental movement. Teeth lose support and start moving
  • Halitosis. Permanent unpleasant odor on breath
  • Greater sensitivity in gums and teeth
  • Gums easily bleeding

Are gingivitis or periodontitis contagious?

Actually, they are. Both pathologies are infectious, though several circumstances must occur to catch them. There must be some prolonged contact, this is to say, it’s more frequent in stable couples. In the same way, there must exist a tendency to suffer the desease, or a deficient immunological system. Obviously, in case the partner of the sick person has a poor hygiene, eats too much sweets, smokes and drinks it will be easier to  catch the desease.

In case your partner experiences gingivitis o periodontitis symptoms, it’s convenient you tell him/her and that both visit the doctor.

Deseases associated to periodontitis and gingivitis

In recent years, many studies about the relation between gum desease and systemic deseases have come out. The mouth is not isolated from the rest of the body. Bacteria associated with periodontal desease have an easy access to the bloodstream from our gums, and may complicate and even cause heart deseases, erectile dysfunction, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), apart from being related to diabetes, as periodontal desease worsens diabetes and the other way around.

Gum inflammation treatment

The treatment will depend on the cause provoked by gum inflammation. It’s important to visit the dentist in case we notice our gums become inflamed, irritated or bleed. If the cause is a gum desease, you will be treated with a professional dental cleaning to remove the accumulated plaque and calculus, even under the gums.

You will need frequent dental cleanings to restrain the desease.

In case the periodontitis (pyorrhea) is severe, you may need a surgical treatment and medicaments. The best decision is to visit a dental clinic before this happens.

periodontitis, encías retraídas
Retracted gums, severe periodontal desease

Home remedies and tips to avoid gum inflammation

  • Do not smoke and stop drinking too much alcohol
  • Brush your teeth after every meal and use dental floss at least once a day. Do not skip night brush
  • Drink enough water to hydrate the mouth
  • Rinse with warm water and salt
  • Do not skip visiting the dentist at least once a year and even more frequently if we suffer gum deseases
  • Check your diet so it’s healthy and balanced. Reduce sugar consumption and add more vegetables

In case you need medication: ibuprofen or paracetamol to treat gum inflammation?
Both, paracetamol an ibuprofen are painkillers, but only ibuprofen is anti-inflamatory. In case you suffer gum inflammation, then better take ibuprofen, and mainly under medical prescription until asking a dentist.

If you have read until here, it’s probably you suffer gum inflammation. Do not hesitate, if you are in Tenerife, in Artedental we will treat and help you to solve your problem. Artedental, your dental clinic in Tenerife.

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