What colour are your gums when you look in the mirror? They are naturally pink and tight around the teeth, giving bacteria little chance to settle and plaque to build up. Having inflamed gums can be a result of many factors and can lead to painful problems such as recession or even inflammation, also known as gingivitis and, in a more advanced stage, periodontitis. It is important to take good care of it in order to maintain healthy teeth. Learn more about the different causes and ways to prevent it below.
What is gum inflammation?
When it is inflamed, there are more bacteria than normal in the mouth. It’s important to take early action to prevent further problems. Various symptoms, which are explained below, can indicate problems. By using the right tools to care for them, you can prevent inflammation and sensitivity and work towards healthy teeth.
Symptoms of inflamed gums
Blood after brushing or flossing
Have you ever noticed blood between your teeth after brushing or flossing? Blood while brushing or flossing indicates irritation and possibly the onset of inflammation. Healthy teeth hardly ever bleed.
Are your dental necks swollen? This swelling can be a symptom of inflammation.
Are your gums still tight around your teeth, or have they become loose? When the gums are no longer tight around the teeth, bacteria have a chance to settle in these spaces.
Pain and sensitivity
Do your teeth hurt when touched lightly? Check to see if there are any sharp remnants of food left behind. If this is not the case, you should take measures.
Causes of inflamed gums
Inflammation is usually caused by poor oral hygiene or by bacteria, plaque and food debris settling under the gum tissue. In addition, the following things contribute to possible problems.
1. Poor oral hygiene can cause inflamed gums
It is important to brush and floss your teeth daily to prevent plaque. If not kept properly, food particles, plaque and other bacteria can irritate them.
2. Brushing too hard can cause inflamed gums
Using a toothbrush that is too hard or brushing too hard can cause a brushing trauma, causing irritation and withdrawal. So it’s important not to apply too much pressure when brushing.
When you suffer from this, there are more bacteria in the mouth that can cause pain.
4. Unhealthy diet
A healthy diet is important for maintaining healthy teeth. Sugars are a source of plaque-causing bacteria. Consuming lots of sugary drinks and foods can irritate them.
Difference between sensitive gums, gingivitis and periodontitis
Sensitive and painful gums can be the early stages of inflammation (gingivitis). It is often caused by bacteria, brushing too hard or damage from a toothpick. The difference between gingivitis and periodontitis lies in the fact that gingivitis means inflammation and, in more advanced stages, this can lead to periodontitis, i.e. severe inflammation. Gingivitis can often be remedied at home through improved oral hygiene and regular brushing. If you neglect this stage, it can spread to the jawbone because the gums have receded so much. This can cause the teeth to become loose, with all the associated consequences. It is therefore important to tackle the problems at an early stage.
What does the colour of your gums say about your health?
Colour can say a lot about your overall health. Learn more about the meaning of the different colours below.
Gums are normally pink, but in darker-skinned people they may be more brown or purple because of the pigment they contain.
When it is bright red, this indicates inflammation. This includes sensitivity or pain from touch, cold or heat, and you may experience spontaneous bleeding when brushing.
White or pale
A white or pale colour may indicate a fungus, Candida albicans. This can be caused by poor oral hygiene or lowered resistance.
Do you have a white spot or several spots? If they are red in colour, this could be a sign of aphthous ulcers in your mouth. These are small painful mouth sores that can be caused by small wounds or a vitamin deficiency.
A black discolouration is rare, it can be a sign of dying flesh or a haemorrhage from dental surgery.
How can you get rid of inflamed gums?
Here are some 5 steps you can take to improve the condition of your teeth. Wondering what you can do to get rid of your problems? Read the tips and tools below to take better care of your teeth.
Step 1: Brushing teeth to prevent inflamed gums
Clean your teeth twice a day, brush your teeth for 2 minutes. Use a (sonic) toothbrush, or a toothbrush with soft bristles.
Step 2: Floss with a water flosser or dental floss
Floss the spaces between the teeth to remove plaque. Floss with a flosser or water flosser.
Step 3: Stimulate blood circulation to prevent inflamed gums
Stimulate blood circulation with a soft toothbrush or clean fingers. Gentle twisting movements help improve blood flow.
Step 4: Rinse out mouth to prevent inflamed gums
Mouthwashes and rinses can help fight inflammation in the mouth. Rinse your mouth regularly with mouthwash to wash away everyday bacteria.
Step 5: Visit the dentist
Visit the dentist every six months. If symptoms persist, schedule an appointment with a dentist or dental hygienist.
The natural colour of your teeth is pink, although there may be some variation in colour. Bleeding gums are the result of inflammation in the gums. This is often caused by the presence of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, as well as poor oral hygiene and hard brushing. It is important to take measures in time. It can be prevented by brushing and flossing daily and by visiting the dentist every six months. Do you want to relieve the pain quickly? Order your water flosser or floss here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gum inflammation is also known as gingivitis. It is caused by plaque and bacteria and can be recognised by blood when brushing or flossing. It can also be irritated, red or swollen.
Inflammation is usually caused by plaque and bacteria in the mouth. If they are not removed, they can become irritated and painful.
You can remedy it by working on improved oral hygiene; it is important to brush and floss daily. In addition, it is important not to brush too hard with a toothbrush and to visit the dentist every six months.