Inflamed Gums: What are the Causes, Symptoms and Treatments?
Inflamed gums, commonly known as gingivitis, is when your gums are sore and swollen. Stemming from poor oral hygiene, inflamed gums can often go unnoticed, but the long-term effects can be truly devastating.
With research showing that oral health is so closely linked to overall body health, it’s especially important to arm yourself with the facts when it comes to gingivitis.
What are the Causes of Inflamed Gums?
Inflamed gums can often be caused by a build-up of dental plaque around your teeth and gumline. This soft, sticky and often invisible layer of protein develops throughout the day and harbours bacteria that, if left untreated, can be harmful to the teeth and gums.
As dental plaque builds and hardens, it develops into a hard calcified deposit known as tartar. Yellowy-brown in colour, tartar is teeming with bacteria that are capable of eating away at the protective layer of enamel on teeth, ultimately leading to decay.
This decay can lead to inflamed gums and bleeding as the soft tissues in your mouth become infected by the bacteria in the tartar.
Certain health conditions and lifestyle choices can lead to an increase in the risk of gingivitis. These include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Tooth alignment resulting in hard-to-clean areas
- Medications including:
- Anti-epilepsy drugs
- Cancer therapy drugs
- Some calcium channel blockers
- Oral contraceptives
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Inflamed Gums?
Inflamed gums and gum disease can be painless, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your oral health. Spotting early signs of gingivitis can help prevent long-lasting, potentially irreversible effects.
Typically, your gums should be firm, pale pink in colour and well-fitting around your teeth.
Common signs of gingivitis include:
- Bright red or purple gums
- Gums bleed easily when brushing teeth or flossing
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Inflammation (swollen gums)
- Receding gums
- Soft gums
It is very important to treat these symptoms as early as possible to prevent long-lasting damage from occurring.
What are the Effects of Gingivitis?
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to gum disease, an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth.
Long-term effects of chronically inflamed gums include the decay of bone under the gumline; this is known as periodontitis.
Periodontitis is the result of long-lasting gingivitis causing pockets to form in the gums. Plaque builds up within these pockets causing infections. If left untreated, the infection will cause teeth to become loose, resulting in larger pockets forming.
Chronically inflamed gums around dental implants can cause peri-implantitis. This causes damage to the attachment of the bone to the implant. If left untreated, peri-implantitis can cause implants to loosen as the bone decays.
What is the Treatment for Inflamed Gums?
Inflamed gums may be unpleasant, but the damage is far from irreversible. So what treatments are available for inflamed gums?
A good oral hygiene routine is a great way to treat gingivitis. The first step is to brush your teeth properly; this means cleaning at least twice a day for two minutes with good quality toothpaste. You should also floss and rinse with mouthwash.
Furthermore, it’s important to plan regular dental check-ups in addition to maintaining a good dental routine of brushing and flossing.
For further advice on maintaining oral hygiene, consult our seven steps to improving your oral health.
While some of the effects of gingivitis are reversible, it is worth noting that, if too many layers of tartar build up, you will not be able to remove them yourself. In cases of extreme tartar build-up, you will need to visit a dental professional for treatment.
How to Prevent Inflamed Gums
By preventing the build-up of harmful bacteria in the mouth, you can reduce the risk of more serious conditions developing. This can be achieved through maintaining good oral hygiene.
However, if you regularly suffer from inflamed gums, consult your dentist for treatment recommendations. They may be able to pinpoint the exact cause of the inflammation.
Add bluem® to Your Daily Routine
To help combat the ill effects of poor oral hygiene, you need to implement a good oral hygiene routine.
With its revolutionary, oxygen-enriched formula containing honey, lactoferrin and xylitol, bluem® allows you to dramatically reduce the build-up of dental plaque.
To treat the early signs of gingivitis, we advise you to use bluem® oral gel. With its high levels of active oxygen, bluem® oral gel has a natural anti-bacterial action that can effectively treat a wide range of oral problems, such as halitosis, periodontitis and peri-implantitis.
View our complete product range here.
Remember; healthy mouth, healthy body.