Gum Inflammation: Causes and Treatments

Inflamed gums are those that have an enlarged, swollen or more prominent appearance than normal. Normally, it is the patient himself who is able to appreciate the problem of his gums with the naked eye, by observing obvious changes in their thickness or color.

Why are the gums inflamed?

The main cause of gingival or gum inflammation is poor oral hygiene.
This is caused by bacteria accumulated by food remains not eliminated, thus producing dental plaque that adheres to the dental surface. When plaque is not removed, it hardens and turns into tartar or dental tartar, which begins to inflame and irritate the gums.

Swollen and Red Gums

Below, we explain the most common causes of swollen gums, as well as their solutions:


It is the increase in size of the tissue that surrounds the tooth (gums), produced by the formation of tartar deposits that are not eliminated during daily hygiene. It manifests with blood during brushing or flossing.

In addition to poor oral hygiene, gingivitis can be caused by:

nutritional deficiency

Swollen gums can also be due to a lack of a nutrient such as vitamin C or iron. In this case, the solution would be simple: eat a more balanced diet.

Relationship with the endocrine system

Gingival inflammation can be caused by hormonal changes, which in some cases affects women more.

These hormonal changes occur at times such as the following: during pregnancy, after childbirth, at different phases of the menstrual cycle or at puberty.

Brackets, dentures or other dental appliances (fixed or removable)

The placement of certain devices – an orthodontic or a dental prosthesis – can make daily hygiene difficult and irritate the gums.

To avoid gum irritation, it is necessary to be especially rigorous with brushing.

This involves brushing your teeth after every meal trying to reach all sides of the tooth surface.

Sensitivity to toothpaste or mouthwash

There are numerous brands on the market that help prevent plaque buildup or tartar formation.

If you experience irritation with the paste or rinse used, we recommend that you discontinue its use and try another product.

Consumption of certain medications

In the event that you are able to relate the inflammation of the gums to the consumption of a drug, inform your doctor immediately.


  • Improve daily dental hygiene
  • Perform dental cleaning by a professional to remove tartar adhered to the dental surface.
  • Visit the dentist every 6 months to check our oral health.
    Gingivitis is reversible, as we have mentioned, with good brushing technique and daily dental use it improves satisfactorily.

If that is not the case, and if gingivitis is not treated, it can turn into something more serious, such as periodontitis, thus causing tooth loss.


In the event that gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, the accumulation of bacteria will lead to the formation of periodontal pockets between the gum and the tooth, which will have more and more capacity to house a greater number of bacteria.

These bacteria progressively destroy the bone, gums and tissues that support the teeth. Thus being the main cause of loss of dental pieces.

But, in addition, this process can take place silently and seem less aggressive than it really is.

Signs and symptoms of periodontitis

  • Elongated teeth due to receding gums teeth appear larger
  • Tooth mobility is caused by loss of bone around the tooth
  • Bad breath or halitosis due to acids produced by dental plaque and tartar
  • Separation of the teeth by losing bone or supporting tissue of the teeth, these tend to move from place separating and causing poor dental position


  • Visit the dentist to check if you are suffering from periodontal disease
  • Carry out an oral examination and measurement of bone loss around the tooth and take an X-ray to find out what type of treatment should be followed.
  • Know the patient’s hygiene habits and correct them. Here the correct brushing technique and the floss spindle are taught.
  • Dental cleaning and root scaling to remove tartar adhered to the dental surface.
  • maintenance visits.

Once periodontal disease has been treated, it must be ensured that it does not recur. To do this, it will be necessary for the patient to follow the hygiene instructions provided by the periodontist at home.

And that, in addition, go to the dentist’s office so that the professional carries out regular maintenance or cleaning.

In most cases, periodontal treatment is enough to cure the disease.

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Dr. Ernesto Herrera

Dr. Ernesto Herrera

Co-founder of Herrera Plasencia Dental Clinic. Dentist specialized in Oral Rehabilitation and Implantology with more than 10 years of experience. Passionate about the design of digital smiles, dental prostheses and implants. Dental Photographer by Hobbie and dentist with a high focus on patient care and satisfaction.


Specialists in Dentistry


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