Reasons for gum inflammation

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Reasons for gum inflammation

People who suffer from gum inflammation can’t think of anything else besides getting rid of it. It can be a great nuisance and impede the sufferer’s day-to-day life. But what can one do to combat such an inflammation (gingivitis) and what are its major causes? Let’s find out more.



Gum inflammation: Causes

In most cases, gum inflammations are the result of lacking oral hygiene. These conditions then allow bacteria and germs, of which there are several hundred different types inside a person’s oral cavity, to multiply without inhibition. While these bacteria by themselves are most often relatively harmless, they do promote the build-up of plaque (also referred to as biofilm), on top of which they gather, multiply, and produce harmful acids and toxins. These harmful substances then enter the cleft between teeth and gums and precipitate a reaction of the immune system: an inflammation.

Besides lacking dental hygiene, injuries to the gums caused by chewing hard foods or overly intense brushing can lead to gum inflammations. In such cases, bacteria enter open wounds directly. On rarer occasions, non-bacterial causes can lead to gingivitis, such as rough dental crown edges or uneven dental fillings.  

Gum inflammation: Symptoms

Consequences of gum inflammations are very uncomfortable, to say the least, but, fortunately, gingivitis generally does not cause any pain. One can recognize the presence of gingivitis by the presence of the following symptoms:

  • reddened gums
  • swollen gums
  • bleeding gums
  • tender gums
  • bad breath
In cases of sudden emergence, dental care experts talk about acute gum inflammations. If inflammation symptoms last for over a week, the condition is called chronic gingivitis.

Treatment and home remedies for gum inflammation
Proper oral hygiene is an absolute must. Therefore, whoever brushes twice every day (!) and also uses dental floss, is clearly ahead of the game. Adherence to a consistent dental care routine prevents chronic gum inflammations and even worse conditions, such as Periodontitis and the buildup of dental calculus.

A cup of tea

Drink tea to alleviate gum inflammations;
ideally sage or chamomile tea.

To alleviate symptoms of gum inflammation at home, one can fortunately rely on the use of several proven household remedies:

  • Chamomile or sage tea: Rinse the oral cavity several times per day with tea disinfects and calms inflamed areas.
  • Stimulated salivation: Saliva stops inflammation and has antibacterial properties. Our related article The cleaning power of saliva about the beneficial properties of saliva provides additional information on the topic.
  • Foods that calm inflammation: Add ginger and garlic to your diet
  • Direct placement of tea bags: What’s even better than drinking tea is to soak a tea bag in boiling water and then place it directly onto the inflamed areas for about 5 minutes. Black tea is ideal for this approach.
  • Avoidance of further agitation: Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to make sure that the inflammation can heal without delays.


When do I have to see a dentist for gum inflammation?
If patients suffering from gum inflammations strictly adhere to a proper dental care regimen, any kind of gingivitis should disappear after only a few days. Should this not be the case, or should symptoms like gum bleeding, painful open wounds, or reddened, swollen areas occur periodically, a consultation with a dentist is in order. If additional aggravated symptoms like a fever, bad breath, and yellow films emerge, it may happen because of inflamed gum pockets, which are definitely among the conditions that have to be treated by a dentist.   

One chair looks differently from the others

Do not wait for too long to get a gum inflammation
treated; better see a dentist early on.

What does a professional course of treatment look like and what does it cost?

After a proper examination, as part of which a dentist determines the exact cause for the gum inflammation, a professional tooth cleaning is usually in order. This procedure is generally recommended for adults once or twice in any given year for prophylaxis purposes. People with and without active dental insurance coverage both have to pay for the full cost of a professional tooth cleaning, which is currently not covered by Austrian insurance carriers. Costs for such a procedure vary heavily from dentist to dentist and can range between EUR 60 and EUR 250. In cases of severe gum inflammations, dentists may additionally prescribe antibiotics to optimally treat and combat these bacterial infections.  

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