Inflammation of the gums: what helps?

If the gums bleed when you brush your teeth, this is often a sign of inflammation of the gums. How it comes about, what you can do about it

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Inflammation of the gums - briefly explained

  • Many people have inflamed gums.
  • If the gums bleed when brushing your teeth or cleaning the spaces between them, this can indicate an inflammation of the gums.
  • The most common cause is poor oral hygiene, because bacteria from the oral cavity can then settle in the gums and multiply. This can cause inflammation.
  • Inflammation of the gums can develop into periodontitis, an inflammation of the periodontium that can have dangerous consequences.
  • The best prevention and therapy: brush your teeth twice a day, use dental floss or special brushes once a day.

What is gingivitis?

Inflammation of the gums (medical: gingivitis) is very common. In most cases it is caused by inadequate oral hygiene. If you don't brush your teeth and clean the spaces between them every day, bacteria from the oral cavity form a coating on the teeth and especially on the gumline. The germs can spread and cause inflammation: inflammation of the gums. Symptoms such as bleeding gums when cleaning the dentition indicate this. If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, an inflammation of the periodontium. This can favor certain diseases and lead to tooth loss.

Causes: why do the gums become inflamed?

It is quite normal to have bacteria in our oral cavity, just like in the intestines or on the skin. There are over 1000 different types of bacteria in the mouth that specialize in different areas of the oral cavity. Some have settled on the tongue, others in the oral mucosa or on the surface of the tooth. The entirety of all bacteria in the mouth is called the oral flora. Usually the germs do not cause any problems.

However, this can change under certain conditions: The germs in the mouth feed on the leftovers from our food and, among other things, form a so-called biofilm on the tooth surface and at the transition from tooth to gum. In this gel-like matrix, the germs are well shielded from external influences and can multiply, resulting in dental plaque, also known as plaque. Dental plaque forms within 24 hours.

Inadequate brushing of teeth

If you don't brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly, you run the risk that the germs in the plaque will multiply to an unhealthy level. They give off aggressive metabolic products, acids and toxins (= poisonous substances), which ultimately also get into the gums. The gums cover the tooth-bearing parts of the jawbone. At the transition from tooth to gum there is a shallow furrow one to two millimeters deep, the so-called sulcus. Here the gums are not firmly attached to the tooth. This is the ideal target for the bacteria to attack. If the aggressive bacterial metabolic products get there from the plaque, the body reacts to it with an inflammation - inflammation of the gums.

When plaque turns into tartar

The plaque adheres firmly to the tooth and cannot be sprayed off, but it can still be brushed away with a brush. If this does not happen regularly enough, then minerals from the saliva store in the plaque, for example calcium. The plaque solidifies into tartar and can only be removed by the dentist.

Once tartar has formed, bacteria can settle more easily on its rough surface, which fuels the inflammation of the gums. If the plaque spreads further, deeper into the gap between the gum and tooth, then the gap can enlarge. Gum pockets are formed. If this has happened, it is a question of periodontitis, a disease of the periodontium. It can even lead to the loss of teeth. In addition, plaque forms a breeding ground for tooth decay.