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Gum Infection – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Pictures, Antibiotics

Written by Dr.Mary

What is a Gum Infection?

There are a number of kinds of infection that can develop in the mouth – the major ones that take place in the tissue around the teeth that is soft. Normally, these are caused by bacteria that gather as plaque and sits along the border of the teeth and the gums. When the mouth bacteria start eating food particles as well as sugar in the mouth, they create waste that is acidic and is the major cause of cavities or decay of teeth. All of this begins because of the lack of good oral hygiene. There are individuals who seem to have more issues with bacteria than others but in most cases improving the process of taking care of the teeth might help prevent the formation of plaque from creating as much damage.

Gum Infection Symptoms

Gum infections do not always cause pain, but there are other symptoms and signs to watch for. Some of these are:

  • Gums that are inflamed
  • Gums that are swollen
  • Receding gums
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Bad taste in mouth constantly
  • Gums that are tender
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Gums that are bright red
  • Teeth that are loose
  • Changes in bite of teeth
  • Pus between the gums and teeth

The danger of gum infections that is immediate is the threat to the individual’s oral health, and also the possible loss of teeth if not remedied in time. But, more and more research advises other health conditions that may arise from harmful oral bacteria entering the blood system. The individual might not notice any effects to the rest of the body in the beginning, but studies that are recent have linked gum infections to conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Respiratory disease
  • Cancer
  • Births that are premature

Gum Infection Causes

Infections of the gum are mostly caused by oral bacteria that create tartar and plaque, which destroy the tissues of the gum. But, there are also other factors that can increase the risk of developing such infections such as:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Tobacco use
  • Medications
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy

Gum infections can be prevented by implementing a good hygiene oral plan. Doing this will normally stop the buildup of bacteria which leads to infections of the mouth; a good oral hygiene program consists of:

  • Brushing twice a day – at least
  • Using a mouth rinse that is antibacterial and that reaches all areas of the mouth where the toothbrush does not reach
  • Flossing once daily

Gum Infection Treatment

When noticed soon enough, managing an infection of the gums includes the identical steps as preventing infections in the very beginning. Brushing, flossing and gargling will normally help keep the mouth clean enough in order to heal itself in the majority of cases. But, if it gets worse or out of control, treatment might require some in depth processes to clear up. These can include:

  • Diagnosis and x-rays
  • Scaling and root planning
  • Gingival flap surgery
  • Tissue graft
  • Bone graft

These procedures gradually get more and more expensive so it is best to develop a good oral hygiene plan before the gums and teeth inflammation get totally out of control. Controlling bacteria and preventing gum diseases is a lot cheaper to start with.


Bacteria grow and forms colonies or clusters on the tonsils as well as the tongue and in saliva of the mouth. Mouth rinses can manage any excessive growing of bacteria. The aim of using rinse is to stop bacteria from creating any diseases of the gum. These rinses consist of:

  • Clorthexidine
  • Alcohol
  • 0.1 percent sodium hypochloride
  • Povodine iodine

These rinses can be used daily at home to wash out pockets surrounding the teeth with devices for irrigation.


Diseases of the gums are listed as one of the most common medical problem reported worldwide. It normally starts with gum tissues inflammation which is mild and is referred to as gingivitis. Then it will spread to the adjoining bone, gums and those areas around the teeth. Statistically, out of 20 individuals, 19 will have an incident of inflammation of the gum at some point in their life. And those individuals who do not pursue good hygiene practices for dental care will develop mild or severe problems for instance:

  • Gingival abscesses
  • Periodontitis
  • Periodontal abscesses
  • The symptoms of gum infection include:
  • Gums that are reddened
  • Gums that are bleeding
  • Gums that are recessed
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth that are loose

According to most dental experts, infection of the gums is the major reason for the release of different bacteria in the blood system. When the problem is not treated there is the increase in the rise of blood infections as well as internal organ infections. Because of this, the management for periodontal disease is needed to steer clear of any further complications. Most of the time, infections of the gum do not need antibiotics and is not usually recommended as the bacteria can develop resistance to the drugs after usage frequently. But some of the gum infections that are managed with antibiotics include:

  • Necrotizing ulcerative gum disease
  • Advanced gum disease
  • Periodontal diseases that are not responding to other treatments

Dentists usually order antibiotics to take care of acute infections of the gum referred to as abscess. A dentist who specializes in gum diseases known as a periodontist might also use antibiotics for several cases of diseases for the gums that are very hard to treat. These can include:

  • Severe types of advanced gum disease
  • Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis
  • Gum or periodontal disease that does not improve with other types of treatment
  • Gum or periodontal disease in individuals who have immune systems that are weakened

The antibiotic type that is prescribed normally depends on the exact kind of bacteria. A number of antibiotics have been used as treatment for periodontal disease that is aggressive. These include:

  • Tetracyclines-HCL
  • Penicillins
  • Doxycycline
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Metronidazole
  • Clindamycin

Gum Infection Pictures

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