Gum Inflammation: Causes and Symptoms

Gum inflammation

If blood flows while brushing your teeth, it often occurs due to gum inflammation. You should not take this lightly, because if left untreated, severe periodontitis can develop from a slight inflammation.

Below you will find a lot of important information on the subject of gingivitis. We will explain to you what causes the inflammation, how you can prevent it effectively, and which treatment methods have proven particularly effective in the past.

Gum Inflammation

The inflammation of the gums is also referred to in technical jargon as “gingivitis“. This is a disease directly on the gums. Thus, further, the course can also trigger symptoms on the teeth, tooth roots, and in the entire throat. It should treat up by a dentist as soon as symptoms appear. Often these are overlooked or not taken seriously.

There is still a belief that occasional, little bleeding from the gums is “normal”. As a rule, however, this is a result of gingivitis, which is very treatable.

Causes of Gum Inflammation?

Gingivitis usually results from insufficient care of the teeth and especially the spaces between the teeth. If teeth are not brushed properly, especially the more difficult to reach spaces, food gets stuck here.

In the further course germs form, which later multiplies in unhealthy numbers and completely spread to the gums. These germs do not go away on their own; the opposite is even the case because they themselves feed on leftovers and so often continue to multiply. The interdental spaces form an ideal “home” for these bacteria and germs.


In the case of poor dental hygiene, however, the bacteria multiply at an above-average rate: They process the food residues into a tough coating that is initially invisible, but the teeth become yellowish over time. The germs also give off aggressive metabolic products and acids that impair the health of teeth and gums.

Course of Gingivitis

In the course of the gingivitis, a biofilm then forms, which is known as “plaque”. Plaque does not have to be immediately visible in the early stages, but it becomes visible in the later stages. The hard coating is difficult to remove, but it is still possible, especially at the beginning. The toothbrush will no longer help as soon as tartar has formed from this plaque because a toothbrush cannot do anything against this extremely firm and adhesive coating. Bacteria also settle very easily on the rough surface of the tartar, which further increases the risk of gingivitis.

Experts estimate that around 80 percent of all Britons are affected by gingivitis. Most people are not even aware of this, because – as already mention up – the disease is usually painless and there are a few other risk factors. Chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus can also promote gum inflammation, such as increased stress, smoking, or pregnancy. Diet could be another cause. As a rule, gum inflammation occurs primarily because of poor oral hygiene.

 Typical Symptoms of Gingivitis

The fatal thing about gingivitis (technical term: gingivitis) is that it usually does not cause pain and is therefore often only under eyes late. Therefore, pay attention to typical warning signals:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing your teeth
  • Redness (healthy gums are pale pink)
  • Bad breath

The widespread bleeding gums, especially in smokers, often do not occur at all. Because the oral mucosa is much fewer supplies with blood than in non-smokers due to nicotine consumption. At most, pain occurs after a long-term inflammation. If the disease is severe, pus can also collect under the gums. In this case, the lymph nodes often swell too.

Self-help Measures

In the case of mild gum inflammation, you can first take self-help measures to stop the inflammatory process.

Often it is enough to intensify your oral hygiene: brush your teeth after every meal to prevent bacterial growth and use dental floss or interdental brushes once a day. You can remove plaque from your tongue with a tongue brush or a tongue scraper. Also, mouthwashes are useful because they also get into the smallest spaces.

Some manufacturers offer douches with anti-inflammatory agents, but these can only be used temporarily. Also, try to strengthen your immune system by getting enough sleep, reducing stress, eating healthy, and quitting smoking.

If the self-help measures do not lead to improvement within a week, it is advisable to see a dentist. This recognizes gingivitis at first glance and can initiate appropriate measures – this usually includes a thorough cleaning of all surfaces and interdental spaces to curb bacterial growth immediately. If gingivitis is half-done, periodontitis can occur.

This creates ever-larger gaps between tooth and gum (“gum pockets“), the gums recede and, in the worst case, there is a risk of tooth loss. If you suspect gingivitis, you should not hesitate, but talk to your dentist as soon as possible.

Who is particularly at risk?

Incorrect or inadequate dental hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis or gum inflammation, but the disease can also bring on by other factors. Such as:

  • Mouth breathing gum inflammation
  • Low salivation
  • An unfavorable diet
  • Nicotine use
  • Stress
  • Medicines (immunosuppressants, anti-epilepsy drugs, antihypertensive drugs)

During pregnancy, fluctuations in hormones can increase the risk of gingivitis. The immune system also plays a major role: those who are stressed and/or suffer from chronic diseases ( e.g. diabetes ) are more often affected than healthy people with a balanced stress level. Another big risk factor is smoking: Nicotine not only hurts the entire organism, but it also reduces the flow of saliva, dries out the oral cavity, and enables bacteria to grow faster.


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