Gum Infections Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
Aside from gum disease, gum infections are harmful conditions in the mouth that can cause damage and inflammation if left untreated to the gums and jaw.
From poor dental hygiene over time, gum infections can arise from harmful bacteria lodged between the gums and teeth, allowing them to grow freely.
However, many other factors play a role in gum infections, all of which our dentists will consider when examining your mouth.
Working with our dentists to prevent and treat gum infections will be critical to avoiding complications.Get in touch
Risk factors that contribute to gum infections include diabetes, hormonal changes, genetics, stress, crooked teeth and immunodeficiency.
What is a gum infection?
Gum infections typically occur when there is an accumulation of bacteria in the tissue around the teeth. And as the mouth is the perfect home for bacteria to grow, you must administer multiple daily hygiene practices to keep the gums healthy and prevent decay.
Without these efforts, bacteria form a film around the teeth called plaque. When plaque is not cleaned, it hardens and becomes tartar, which will not be possible to remove without dental intervention.
As soon as tartar appears in the mouth, cleaning the teeth and gums becomes even more challenging, effectively making it easier for bacteria to invade the areas even further. And when the bacteria builds up under the gumline, this quickly leads to gum infections.
Additionally, smoking may worsen the problem and make any treatments less effective.
Symptoms of a gum infection
- Pain while chewing
- Spitting out blood after brushing teeth
- Sensitive and loose teeth
- Bad breath that does not go away
- Receding gums
- Pus discharge in the mouth
- Changes to your bite or fitting of dentures
When to see a dentist:
If you suspect a gum infection, you should see the dentist immediately.
Gum infection symptoms can vary depending on its advancement and location. Gum infections are a sign of poor oral health, dentition and gum disease.
If you suspect gingivitis instead, this is usually indicated by red and puffy gums that bleed easily. If you notice this as a symptom, we advise seeing one of our periodontists or hygienists as soon as possible.
What's the worst that can happen?
We’re glad you asked! Untreated infections, more often than not, lead to more complications.
For example, the infected tissue can potentially put other nearby tooth roots at risk, consequently leading to tooth loss.
More than this, infections lead to the formation of a pocket of pus called an abscess, which will require prompt treatment.
Patients with an abscess may experience painful swelling and discharge of pus in the mouth.
Lastly, infections from infected gum tissues can spread to the jawbone, potentially damaging the tissue.
Just like teeth, when you lose bone, it does not grow back. You also risk bacteria entering the bloodstream and causing issues to other parts of the body.
Gum infection treatments
As mentioned above, treating gum infections promptly is vital to avoid more costly complications.
In the case of gingivitis and gum disease, good oral hygiene and professional cleaning can control and treat early forms of the disease.
For a gum infection, we might prescribe a form of deep cleaning in the gums and pockets around the teeth. If there are any dental abscesses present, we will also need to clean any of them out. A dentist might have to remove some of the gums or tissues in the most severe cases. In advanced cases, surgery might be necessary (bone or tissue grafts).
However, with many restorative dentists on our team, we might be able to prescribe a more advanced solution that improves the appearance of your teeth and gums and alleviates the infection.