Inflammation of the gums is medically called gingivitis and can have several causes. The acute or chronic infection of gums is mostly caused by bacteria that cause inflammation due to poor dental hygiene or gum injuries. In rare cases, gingivitis can be attributed to viruses or fungi. Find out more about the causes, typical symptoms and treatment methods for gum inflammation.
What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
With gum inflammation, a distinction must be made between an acute and a chronic disorder. Acute inflammation of gums appears on the gum line and does not cause pain. Because of this, it remains unnoticed in most cases.
Chronic gum disease is mentioned if the disease lasts more than a week. Even with chronic gum inflammation, there is usually no pain.
Although inflammation of gums is painless, there are the following symptoms for this condition:
- Bleeding gums
- Soft gums
- Inflammation of the oral mucosa
- Bad breath
- Pus bags in gums
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Gum decline
The most common sign of gingivitis is bleeding gums. The person usually bleeds during toothbrushing or eating hard fruit and snacks. In extreme cases, even a simple touch causes bleeding gums. However, bleeding gums can also be a sign of a too rough toothbrush or strong pressure when brushing your teeth.
Even if bleeding gums do not occur, it can still be an inflammation of the gums. Smokers, for example, their oral mucosa is covered with ingredients in the cigarette and bleeds less.
With highly advanced gum infections, the gums gradually recede, while the teeth appear longer and the initial reddening of the gums subsides. In addition to bleeding gums, people with chronic gum disease often have severe bad breath and occasional toothache.
Long-term and untreated gum infections can cause symptoms such as pus sac formation, swelling of the lymph nodes and damage to the entire oral mucosa.
What are the causes of gingivitis?
- Poor oral hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis. With irregular and not thorough cleaning, pathogens multiply in the oral cavity.
The most common pathogens are bacteria, which are normally part of the natural oral flora and are harmless. However, these can lead to inflammation of the gums if, for example, food residues are not properly removed from teeth. In such cases, food residues together with germs form the so-called bacterial plaque on the teeth, so that the bacteria are protected from the immune system.
The acids and toxins produced by bacteria penetrate between the tooth and gums, causing inflammation of the gums. It is therefore extremely important to remove the leftovers as thoroughly as possible!
- Gum Injuries
Despite thorough oral hygiene, gum infections can occur. The second cause is an injury to the gums, e.g. B. by intensive brushing your teeth. Bacteria get into the gums through the wound and thus trigger inflammation. If the gums become inflamed, gentle cleaning also helps.
- Diseases and Medicines
Certain diseases such as diabetes, metabolic disorders, hormonal changes, but also medication (e.g. for high blood pressure) and even a lack of vitamin C can increase the risk of gingivitis. The active ingredient cyclosporin A, which is used after organ transplants and autoimmune diseases, also makes susceptible to gingivitis.
What is the development course of the disease?
The majority have suffered from gingivitis. Inflammation of the gums is one of the most common diseases in the mouth and is divided into three disease stages.
- The initial stage of gum disease is the first mild stage of the disease. This can be recognized by bleeding during tooth cleaning . The rosy color of the gums is still there and there are no other symptoms. However, it would be advisable to react during this phase and to use the appropriate anti-gum disease remedies.
- The second stage of gingivitis is more pronounced and associated with more bleeding when brushing your teeth. However, the gums no longer look so rosy and are reddened. The first swellings can also be noticed at this stage of the gingivitis.
- Gum inflammation is particularly pronounced if bleeding does not only occur when brushing your teeth. If the bleeding occurs spontaneously and throughout the day regardless of brushing your teeth, the gum inflammation is at an advanced stage. In this phase, the gums have already withdrawn and the teeth appear longer . The gum pockets are enlarged and bacteria accumulate. With such a clinical picture, a visit to the dentist is inevitable. He has to treat the gum inflammation immediately and clean the gum pockets.
Can I treat gum inflammation myself?
The first step in any type of gum infection is regular and thorough oral hygiene. With careful cleaning, gum inflammation should subside after a few days. For this, bacterial deposits have to be removed daily. The teeth should be cleaned thoroughly and the plaque removed at least twice a day. To prevent the risk of additional injuries and irritation from the gums, a toothbrush with softer bristles is useful.
Other important tools in the fight against gingivitis are dental floss and interdental brushes , with which the interdental spaces are cleaned. An antibacterial oral solution is also helpful to curb bacterial growth.
In pharmacies there are also numerous ointments, fluids or probiotic lozenges (e.g. Dental Repair Lozenges from Casida – order number 14401553 ), which are also used to treat gingivitis.
Proven home remedies for gingivitis
Home remedies should not be underestimated when treating gum inflammation, as they can relieve symptoms and make the inflammation go away more quickly. A mouthwash with chamomile tea or medicinal plants such as sage, myrrh or thyme often helps with gingivitis. They have anti-inflammatory, mucosal and disinfectant effects.
Natron (baking soda / sodium bicarbonate) also has an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect. It is recommended to add 1 teaspoon natron with a glass of water and rinse mouth for two minutes after brushing your teeth.
What is the treatment of gum disease at the dentist?
In order to be able to carry out an effective treatment, the preliminary examination must be thorough. This is the only way for the dentist to recognize whether the gum is acute or chronic. With mild gum disease, the cause could be a wrong toothbrush. However, if chronic gum disease is left untreated, this can lead to periodontitis and, in the worst case, even tooth loss. As a rule, gingivitis is recognized immediately.
Despite thorough oral hygiene, so-called gum pockets can form in which bacteria collect. The dentist can remove the inaccessible deposits and clean gum pockets thoroughly. After the dentist has removed the deep-lying plaque, he polishes the tooth surfaces. This prevents bacteria from collecting again there.
The dentist will then determine the periodontal screening index (PSI), which provides information about a disease of the tooth necks. In addition, he can arrange for an X-ray examination. In this way, the dentist gets a more precise picture of possible causes and possible damage. The mouth saliva reveals everything you need to know about bacterial culture and pathogens.
How can I prevent gingivitis?
If oral hygiene is carried out correctly, there is no need for gum inflammation. Thorough oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and regular dental care.
But in many cases it is almost impossible to reach the interdental spaces that are difficult to access even with dental floss and other aids. For this reason, a regular visit to the dentist is recommended. This can also clean hard-to-reach areas thoroughly and prevent further accumulation of bacteria. professional tooth cleaning is also a must in the fight against gum infections.
Ultimately, nutrition also plays an important role in oral hygiene. Food and drinks containing sugar and cigarettes are known to be bad for the teeth, but also for the gums. Dental hygiene chewing gums can stimulate saliva production and thus stimulate the flushing out of unnecessary bacteria.
Treatment and chances of success depend on the extent of the disease. Basically, gum inflammation can be treated, even if it should not be taken lightly.
Effective protection against gingivitis with probiotics and essential oils
- Mouth and Gum Care Fluid Repair & Protect
The purely natural fluid from Casida helps with gum inflammation and painful swellings such as canker sores, periodontitis, implants and pain-sensitive tooth necks when the gums recede. The contained essential oils (including tea tree, lemon balm, lavender, palmarosa) promote wound healing, anti-inflammatory and germ-reducing.
Available in pharmacies – order no. 10086681
In holistic dentistry, essential oils are used both for the prevention and therapy of toothache and gum recession. *
- Dental Repair Probiotics Lozenges
Probiotics are not only important for digestion and the immune system, but also help with gum problems. The Casida lozenges guarantee natural oral health through a highly concentrated probiotic with two strains of bacteria. They care for the gums, protect against inflammation and reduce the plaque. The balance of the oral flora is maintained with only 2 to 3 lozenges a day.
Available in pharmacies – order no. 14401553
- Mouth and Gum Care Fluid+ with EM ceramics (effective microorganisms)
Due to the antioxidative effect of the contained EM-X® ceramic pipes, the fluid from Casida is an effective protection against gum problems. It helps with gingivitis, complaints caused by implants, chronic tooth pockets, small blisters in the mouth, periodontitis and pressure sores on the prosthesis. The fluid, tried and tested by dentists, is easy to apply with cotton swabs.
Available in pharmacies – order no. 10527688
*Source: “Der Einsatz von ätherischen Ölen in der ganzheitlichen Zahnmedizin” Dr. med. univ. (Budapest) Edith Nadj-Papp in Naturheilkunde Journal 07/2020
Alexander Helm is a licensed pharmacist (Martin-Luther University) and the founder of Casida. His vision is to combine pharmaceutical know-how and natural remedy into natural health products, and leverage the power of nature to improve human health.