Dental & Oral Health

Is Gum Inflammation a Curable Problem?

Written by Dr. Vasantha K S and medically reviewed by Dr. Hema

Image: Is Gum Inflammation a Curable Problem?

Gingivitis refers to inflammation of the gums. Gums (or gingiva) along with the bones and ligaments form the supporting structure of the teeth. Once they get swollen, there is redness, puffiness, and bleeding of gums. But, in most cases, it is treatable and reversible.

When left untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition called periodontitis, in which there is a disease process in all the supporting structures, thereby leading to loss of teeth.

Causes of Gingivitis

  1. Formation of dental plaque: Plaque is a thin biofilm that forms on our tooth surfaces every day. It consists of several different bacteria, as well as organic and inorganic constituents. Plaque is a soft deposit that can be removed by maintaining good oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. But, when it is not followed properly, it can calcify over time to form a hard deposit known as calculus or tartar, which can only be removed by an oral health professional through a simple procedure known as scaling. Plaque and calculus can irritate the gums causing gingival inflammation and bleeding. They can lead to tooth decay as well.
  2. Hormonal changes: During the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, there are hormonal changes which cause the gums to become tender and cause them to swell.
  3. Diseases: Certain conditions such as xerostomia, leukemia, diabetes and HIV/AIDS cause swelling of the gums.
  4. Drugs: Certain medications given for epilepsy and high blood pressure, and even birth control pills cause gingival swelling.
  5. Smoking: Chronic smokers tend to develop gum changes due to the effect of the heat and toxins.
  6. Vitamin C deficiency: Scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) is linked to inflammation of gums.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

  1. Swollen gums.
  2. Redness and tenderness.
  3. Gums bleed easily.
  4. Bad odor in the mouth.
  5. Gum recession.

Prevention and Treatment

Once there is build up of deposits on the teeth causing swelling, the only way it can be treated is by getting a professional cleaning (scaling) done. After a round of scaling, the inflammation will gradually subside, after which you can take measures to maintain oral hygiene at home every day.

  1. Brush your teeth (with the correct technique) twice a day.
  2. Floss your teeth once a day.
  3. Schedule a regular dental check-up every six months to one year depending on the risk factors involved.
  4. Eat healthy, fibrous greens which have natural cleansing actions and also include lots of vitamin-C rich foods in your diet.

For more information consult a dentist online -->

Last reviewed at: 03.Nov.2018



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Related Questions & Answers

My lower teeth gum color varies. Please clarify if I have gingivitis.
Query: Hi doctor, I do not know if I have gingivitis. The gums of my front teeth in the lower jaw have a small hint of pale pink. But, on the right side, it shows a hint of a darker pink. Also, my teeth look larger on the back side. Is that normal? Please help me.  Read Full »
Dr. Geeth Sadasivam

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I have read through your complaint and the relevant details.You sound absolutely fine. The normal color of the gums is coral pink, and there will also be some random distribution of dark shades over the gums sometimes even brownish.The dark colour is nothing but melanin p...  Read Full »
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Dr. Naveen Thomas

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I have gone through the attached pictures (attachment removed to protect patient identity). It is a permanent discoloration which cannot be removed by normal means like dental scaling. It needs a treatment called lamineering of the front 4 or 6 teeth as required. In...  Read Full »
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Dr. Naveen Thomas

Answer: Hello, Welcome to The scraping done to the inside area of lower front teeth is necessary to remove calculus deposited at the site. This procedure is called the dental scaling. We definitely have to remove those calculus deposits for longer life of the teeth. Use warm salin...  Read Full »

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