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What Is Involved in Gum Inflammation Treatment?

By C. Webb
Updated May 17, 2024
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Gum inflammation is a warning that teeth are at risk if the inflammation is not treated. The early stage of gum inflammation is caused by gingivitis, which is on the mild end of a spectrum of gum and tooth issues classified as periodontal disease. Later stages of gum inflammation, called periodontitis, occur in severe periodontal disease that can cause deterioration of bone and tissue, resulting in tooth loss. An aggressive and consistent treatment plan for gum inflammation can help prevent this worst-case scenario.

Mouths are filled with bacteria, which join with mucus and saliva to form a colorless plaque on teeth. The goal is to remove plaque through stringent tooth brushing and flossing at home. Plaque that remains on teeth becomes tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional using specialized dental equipment.

If plaque and the subsequent tartar are not removed, the resulting bacteria cause gum inflammation called gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include swelling, redness, bleeding, and, in some cases, pain. Patients may first notice inflammation during tooth brushing when they rinse their mouths and notice they are spitting blood into the sink.

Gum inflammation treatment for gingivitis includes aggressively working to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and keeping them clean. A visit to the dentist for a thorough teeth cleaning is the first step to gum infection treatment caused by gingivitis. Following the professional removal of tartar and plaque, patients should concentrate on consistent cleaning and flossing of teeth and gums. The dentist can recommend the number of times a day the patient should brush and floss, but typically it will be immediately after each meal and before going to bed.

The next stage in gum inflammation disease is called periodontitis. This stage means the inflammation is now surrounding the tooth. When this condition begins, the gums pull away from each tooth and leave pockets in which infections can begin. Plaque from teeth moves below the gum line and in turn starts to loosen the teeth.

Gum inflammation treatment for periodontitis is a surgical procedure that cuts the gums away from the teeth, and is followed by a cleaning of plaque from below the gum line. The procedure is sometimes repeated more than once before all plaque is successfully removed. In more severe cases, the dentist performs a flap procedure in which the gum is cut away far enough to get deep inside, then sutured back to heal around the tooth. If this method does not work, or if significant bone loss has already begun, gum inflammation treatment includes bone and tissue grafting.

Risks for gum inflammation include smoking, poor oral hygiene, and genetics. People who have diabetes as well as females who still have monthly cycles are also at a higher risk to need gum inflammation treatment. Diseases that impact the immune system, such as AIDS or cancer, also place the gums at a significantly higher risk for gum inflammation.

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