Inflammations in the mouth, especially on the gums, are not always painful. At first the patient may notice an uncomfortable feeling, later redness or swelling will become apparent. A very slow development of inflammation does not always lead to pain.

Not all patients then go to a dentist, but first consult their family doctor or dermatologist. In the case of inflammation of the gums, neither can make the diagnosis with certainty and then also cannot treat the cause. Your treatment often only consists of an antibacterial mouth rinse and maybe a referral to the dentist.

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Gum inflammation is known as gingivitis in technical terms. Gingivitis is to be regarded as a preliminary stage of periodontitis. Periodontitis is an inflammation of the teeth holding apparatus. Gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, but this is not absolutely necessary.

Inflammation of the gums is an infection of the gums that manifests itself both chronically and with acute flare-ups.

A distinction is made between different degrees of severity or different forms of gingivitis. In the case of severe inflammation of the gums, gingival pockets can form, but these recede again with treatment. The gingival pockets can only remain if there is bone loss in the course of the inflammation. One then speaks of periodontitis.

Symptoms- an overview

Healthy gums are pink in color and not reddened or swollen. In people of African descent, the gums can also be darker in color and have some kind of pigmentation.

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If there is inflammation of the gums, it shows up depending on the severity

  • Redness
  • swelling
  • Pain
  • Pain / bleeding when brushing your teeth
  • Pain / bleeding when biting off hard food
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • exposed tooth necks
  • Pain when consuming hot, cold, sweet foods
  • possibly pus formation

Read more on the subject at: Symptoms of gingivitis

Pain in the inflamed gums

With acutely inflamed gums, pain also occurs in some cases. However, this depends on the individual and the severity of the inflammation. The quality of the pain is often astringent and increases when the area is touched by food.
Ice helps to temporarily relieve pain because of its coldness. Warmth, on the other hand, increases the pain.

The pain in the wisdom tooth region is extremely severe. During the eruption there are frequent gum pockets behind the last tooth. Bacteria multiply quickly and cause inflammation. Since it is difficult to clean these areas satisfactorily, many doctors advise having the wisdom teeth removed if the inflammation in this area recurs.

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If the pain changes to a dull, throbbing character, pus may have formed. Since pus can spread, you should definitely get this clarified by the dentist. There the cause will be eliminated as soon as possible so that the teeth are not damaged.

Read more on the topic: Pain associated with inflammation of the gums

Inflamed gums and toothache

Is the Gingivitis has been around for a long time, it is considered chronic designated. This form goes with you from time to time Toothache hand in hand. The cause of this can be a Receding gums be. The inflammation then creates an exposed tooth neck, where the tooth root is now directly exposed to the oral cavity. A strong drawing pain then join warm or hot dishes on. The pain can be alleviated by sealing the root surface and using toothpastes specially made for this problem. Sometimes the inflammation of the gums can also be caused by tooth decay, which is what causes the actual toothache.

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Purulent inflammation of the gums

If inflammation of the gums occurs along with pus, this can be caused by several factors. Mostly a dead dental nerve is hidden behind it. Even worse diseases like osteomyelitis cause pus to develop.

Pus vesicles shouldn't simply be squeezed out with your fingers. Germs and pathogens can get into the wound and increase inflammation. In no case should it be joked with. Pus can usually spread widely and then cause worse diseases. However, the dentist can help and fight the cause by removing the pus with sterile instruments.

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Read more on the topic: Purulent inflammation of the gums

Fistula and inflamed gums

A fistula on a tooth is a tubular connection between a diseased tooth root and the oral cavity. It is caused by an inflamed tooth root when the body tries to fight the disease. Pus then forms, which is pushed through the tissue and then empties into the oral cavity, creating this connection.

In the beginning, this process is often painless. Only later does a feeling of pressure develop, which gradually turns into local pain. After the pus has escaped, the pain sometimes subsides briefly. But then it must not be forgotten that the destruction of the tissue continues. Dental treatment is urgently needed here.

Inflammation of the gums with swollen lymph nodes

Swollen lymph nodes are triggered by pathogens and indicate that the immune system is activated and is fighting against a disease. Since it usually takes a certain amount of time before the lumps are severely swollen and noticeable, this symptom only occurs with chronic gingivitis. However, this should be examined by a doctor immediately, as swelling of the lymph nodes in the head and neck area can also be triggered by many other diseases.

Inflammation of the gums and canker sores

Inflammation of the gums is often accompanied by aphthae. It is a question of damage to the mucous membrane, which is surrounded by an inflamed, red border. The affected area burns when touched or when drinking. Depending on their size, they are divided into minor and majoraphs. The exact cause is not known. Doctors assume that several factors play a role in the development; a genetic component is also discussed.
Healing takes about 10 days without treatment, and sometimes several weeks in the case of major inflammations.

Causes- an overview

Common causes of inflammation of the gums are:

  • bacterial plaque that has not been removed
  • mechanical injuries
  • Tartar
  • hormonal changes in pregnancy
  • Mushrooms
  • Viruses
  • Thermal damage
  • low salivation
  • Mouth breathing

These causes increase the risk of bleeding gums:

  • Smoke
  • pregnancy
  • stress
  • Drugs (immunosuppressants)
  • drug consumption

Bacterial plaque

The main cause of inflammation of the gums is bacterial deposits, which are insufficiently removed due to poor oral hygiene. The dentist calls such deposits plaque.

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Read more on the topic: Oral hygiene

There are over three hundred different types of bacteria in our oral cavity. Normally they do not pose a threat to health. Inflammation only occurs when a factor is added which disturbs the balance between them.

If the teeth are not brushed regularly and thoroughly, the food remains provide the bacteria with an ideal breeding ground. The bacteria attach themselves to the tooth surface and use the leftover food as food. At the same time they multiply and form a dense, tough coating. This coating is the plaque mentioned above. Plaque can also be called a biofilm.

The bacterial plaque cannot initially be seen with the naked eye. However, this can be colored with special dyes and thus its existence can be proven. The bacteria continue to multiply and in the course of their metabolism they produce aggressive products such as acids or toxins that first attack the tooth enamel and later also the gums.

Read more on the topic: Causes of inflammation of the gums

Acids or toxins are particularly dangerous to gum health if they enter the sulcus. Once the bacteria are in the sulcus, they can no longer be easily reached by the patient with the toothbrush. Thus they can multiply undisturbed and without the risk of being removed.

At the transition from the tooth to the gum there is a strip about two millimeters wide where the gum is not firmly attached to the tooth. A kind of small pocket forms here, which is known as a sulcus by experts.


The bacterial plaque has an adhesive mechanism that makes it stick very firmly to the tooth surface. Plaque can still be removed with a toothbrush. If this does not happen, plaque turns into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by the dentist through professional tooth cleaning with appropriate equipment, namely ultrasound or scaler (tooth cleaner). This tartar is created when the calcium contained in the saliva is deposited in the plaque and mineralizes it.

Bacteria can attach themselves more easily to the tartar because it has a very rough surface. The attached bacteria can now also allow the plaque to grow to an extent. The plaque is getting bigger and bigger and is pushed between tooth and gum. If gum pockets form in the process when the gums become detached from the tooth, this is already referred to as periodontitis. Periodontitis is a disease of the entire periodontium and can even lead to tooth loss.

Read more on the topic: tartar


Medication for high blood pressure, anti-epileptic drugs, or immunosuppressants can cause inflammation of the gums even without plaque.


The hormonal changes in pregnancy, especially the increase in the hormones estradiol and progesterone, can cause inflammation of the gums.
Progesterone and estradiol can be metabolized by certain bacteria and thus provide food.

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It can also happen that the gums grow overgrown during pregnancy.
This growth is called Epulis gravidarum denotes and in almost all cases disappears on its own at the end of pregnancy.
The hormonal changes during pregnancy can ensure that the inflammation of the gums develops faster if there is plaque.

Read more on the topic: Inflammation of the gums in pregnancy

Therapy - an overview

Inflammation on the gums can be treated with the help of:

  • professional teeth cleaning
  • improved oral hygiene (toothbrushes that are gentle on the gums, interdental brushes)
  • Disinfecting mouthwash solutions (e.g. Chlorhexamed®)
  • less high-sugar diet
  • Home remedies (chamomile tinctures, tea tree oil)

Therapy in detail

Inflammation of the gums is always treated causally, that is, the causes are eliminated if at all possible.

First of all, professional teeth cleaning is advisable. The plaque on the teeth is first stained and made clear to the patient. Then each patient is recommended an individual toothbrushing technique that is precisely tailored to their needs. Then the soft deposits are removed as well as any tartar that may be present. The teeth are then polished smooth to make it harder for bacteria to adhere. Such a tooth cleaning is usually not covered by the health insurance and costs between fifty and one hundred euros. In exceptional cases or in the case of additional insurance, the costs may well be covered. You can simply ask the respective health insurance company about this. It is often not necessary if the deposits are only small.

Read more on the topic: What helps with inflammation of the gums?

Once the bacterial deposits (plaque, biofilm) are removed, the inflammation of the gums usually heals on its own.

At home, however, the patient must continue to brush his teeth very well and thoroughly, otherwise the inflammation of the gums cannot heal and there is a risk that periodontitis will develop from it at some point.

The teeth should be brushed thoroughly twice a day for at least two minutes. The interdental spaces must not be forgotten either. Dental floss or interdental brushes must be used every day so that the spaces between them do not become collecting points for food residues and the bacteria can collect there.

A dental care chewing gum after a meal stimulates the flow of saliva and thus helps to rinse the food residues and bacteria off the teeth.

If the cause of the inflammation of the gums is due to certain medications, the medication may be changed in consultation with the attending physician. However, this is not always possible, especially with immunosuppressants. A medication may never simply be discontinued without authorization.

Even in the case of medication that causes dry mouth, a change of preparation can be considered in some cases.

A healthy diet in combination with exercise and sufficient sleep strengthens the immune system and thus it also helps in the fight against inflammation of the gums.

There are also home remedies for inflammation of the gums. However, they can only work if they are cleaned effectively and thoroughly.
Apple cider vinegar should be used diluted for gargling before brushing your teeth. It has an antibacterial effect and stimulates saliva formation.


There are various ointments that relieve the pain of gingivitis and also help the healing process. You can even buy Kamistad® Gel or Dynexan® Gel in the pharmacy without a prescription. These ointments primarily reduce acute pain because they contain a local anesthetic. This will make the dripped area numb. In the case of acute inflammation with severe pain, the dentist applies an ointment containing prednisolone. This medication has a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory and healing effect. After application, the gingivitis often heals within a few days.

Read more on the topic: Ointments for inflammation of the gums

Mouthwash solutions

Using mouthwashes for gingivitis is often a very effective way of promoting healing. Douches with antibacterial agents such as chlorhexidine can be bought from pharmacies. These kill bacteria and thus contribute to healing. A rinse with chamomile or sage is recommended as a home remedy, as they react very gently to the irritated tissue and also have anti-inflammatory properties. You can quickly make a conditioner yourself by boiling a strong tea, which you let cool down. A sea salt rinse also has a bactericidal effect.

Read more on the topic: Betaisodona oral antiseptic


Various homeopathic remedies and globules are used to treat gingivitis. In the case of chronic inflammation, naturopaths recommend using Luesinum 3 times a day. If there is severe swelling, Phosphorus C5 will help. However, if an acute inflammatory process is underway, Belladonna should help with healing. In addition to these three remedies, there are a variety of other globules. An alternative practitioner can help here. The same applies to the dosage; a specialist in this field should be consulted for this.

If the symptoms do not subside within a week or if the inflammation continues to spread despite all efforts, only the dentist can help.

Read more on the topic: What helps with inflammation of the gums?

Home remedies

When inflammation of the gums has developed, there are many more or less effective home remedies that can be used to cure it.

Chamomile is extremely well known and effective. Dripped onto the affected area as a tincture or as a tea to rinse the mouth, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and thus combats inflammation.

Similar to onions, garlic is also widely used because the tuber is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect. To do this, the garlic is cut open or squeezed and the sore spot is rubbed with the juice.

Cloves have a pain-relieving and healing effect. These are chewed up and then given to the inflammation, where they can spread their full effect. Clove oil can be bought ready-to-use and instilled on the gums. Massaged there, it quickly relieves pain.

Various medicinal herbs are also used in tea form as a mouthwash. Lavender, sage, peppermint or black tea counteract inflammation and quickly ensure the desired effect.

A mouthwash with salt has a direct effect on bacteria. These can be easily made at home. Mix sea salt with water and rinse with it several times a day to kill the bacteria.

In addition, proper oral hygiene helps prevent further gum disease.

Tea tree oil, whose effects are described below, also supports healing.

Read more on the topic: Home remedies for gingivitis

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a gentle household remedy that is gentle on the tissue and is not only used in the oral cavity. With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can effectively prevent gum inflammation if a few drops are added to the toothpaste every day.
If the symptoms already exist, the tea tree oil should be applied directly to the inflamed area at an early stage. This promotes the healing process and mitigates worse processes.
If you also rinse with a solution of lukewarm water and tea tree oil in the morning and evening, the inflammation will quickly become a thing of the past.

However, it should not be used during pregnancy as there are currently not enough studies that prove it is harmless to the embryo. One should also be careful with children. If you swallow too much tea tree oil, symptoms of poisoning may occur.

Duration of inflammation of the gums

Since the duration of a gingivitis, also known as gingivitis, depends on the causes and the general condition of the person affected, it is unfortunately not possible to give an exact time.

If an acute inflammation occurs due to an injury to the gums, this usually heals within a week. Of course, there are also cases in which healing is slowed down and the pain persists for several weeks, such as a difficult tooth eruption.

Read more on the topic: Duration of a gingivitis

Inflamed gums by localization

Inflamed gums on the molar

Inflammation of the gums is very common due to poor dental hygiene. Molars are generally larger than front teeth and, due to their location very far back in the jaw, are often difficult to see and difficult to reach with a toothbrush. As a result, it is very often difficult to brush, which creates plaque and later tartar. If this is never removed properly, it can cause gingivitis and pain. Good dental hygiene, which is supported by professional tooth cleaning, is then essential.

Inflammation of the gums under the bridge

Inflammation of the gums is very common under bridges. The reason for this is the often neglected, difficult dental care. The pontic is a collecting station for leftovers. Meat fibers and the like in particular tend to settle there. In addition, these areas are difficult to clean and can often only be cleaned with space brushes or other special utensils. The resulting plaque and food debris then often cause inflammation of the gums. Another possibility for inflammation on a newly inserted bridge is that the pontic is too tight on the gums and irritates them.

Inflamed gums under the tongue

If the gingivitis is extremely severe or caused by a general disease, it can spread. General diseases are also called systemic, as they affect the whole "system", i.e. the entire body.
Hormonal changes, puberty, blood diseases or diabetes mellitus can all have an impact on the oral mucosa. Local factors for inflammation under the tongue are the salivary glands. These can become inflamed by a saliva stone or other factors and thus cause redness or pain under the tongue.

Situation-related inflammation of the gums

Inflamed gums on implants

Unfortunately, even successfully placed implants are not always spared from gum disease. Above all, smokers and patients with already diagnosed periodontitis are often affected, in the worst case there is even a risk of losing an implant. Proper care is extremely important as plaque can quickly spread along the smooth implant surface in the direction of the screw. Once there, the bone is damaged and broken down over time. The initially harmless gingivitis turns into peri-implantitis, i.e. the inflammation of the tooth bed around the implant. You should visit the dentist here as soon as possible in order to prevent worse consequences such as the loss of the implant.

Inflammation of the gums after cleaning teeth

Inflammation is rather rare after professional teeth cleaning. You are there to prevent this. However, teeth cleaning often leads to bleeding gums. The cause of this are already existing inflammations, which are irritated by cleaning. The bleeding disappears quickly after cleaning, and often the inflammation with it. However, if the gums are injured with the instruments used, a small wound occurs, which heals again within a week.

Can a denture lead to inflamed gums?

The gums can also become inflamed under full or partial dentures. This is often caused by a pressure point. Pressure points are areas of the gums that are reddened by mechanical irritation and, after a while, begin to bleed. This mechanical irritation is caused, among other things, by an excessively tight prosthesis. With every chewing movement, the dentures rub against the gums and pain develops in a short time.
Very similar to a blister on the foot, which occurs in new and tight shoes. These pressure points disappear when the dentist makes appropriate corrections to the prosthesis. Ointment is usually applied to accelerate the healing process.

Inflamed gums after tooth extraction

A frequently occurring complication after tooth extraction is injury to the soft tissue with the forceps and instruments used. In addition, an open wound can become infected during the healing phase if the wound is contaminated or a root residue has been left in the tooth socket. This becomes noticeable by reddening of the wound and severe pain within the first week after extraction. Then the dentist should definitely be visited so that the correct therapy can be initiated.
Furthermore, the injection site can also swell slightly for anesthesia and become easily infected. However, this is not a permanent condition, after a few days it usually heals on its own.

Inflamed gums after an operation

After operations in the mouth area, the gums are often badly affected. Due to the mechanical stress that the gums were exposed to during the operation, they are irritated and the slightest touch is often enough to make the gums turn red and painful. If sutures have been placed on the gums in the course of the operation, they can become inflamed during the healing process.

Restricted dental hygiene can also be the cause. It is triggered by a reduced mouth opening or pain when cleaning. In addition to the limited ability to be hygienic, drugs are a common cause, as they are often given after operations. Changes or side effects sometimes affect the gums, causing them to swell and become inflamed.

Diagnosis of inflamed gums

Every now and then the patient notices when looking in the mirror at home that the gums have become infected because he can see the swelling and comes to the dentist himself.

In the vast majority of cases, however, inflammation of the gums is only determined by the dentist as part of the annual check-up.

During a check-up, a thin, rounded probe is used to check whether there are gum pockets and, if so, how deep they are. If there are gum pockets, the inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) has already changed into an inflammation of the gums (periodontitis). If the probe penetrates the pocket by more than two to three millimeters, there is a gingival pocket. Treatment of periodontal disease must be initiated immediately, as periodontal disease can already have regressed bones and there is an acute risk of tooth loss.

Measuring the pocket depths or the sulcus depths, whichever is present, is not painful.

If necessary, the saliva can be examined to determine whether too little saliva is being produced by the body or whether the composition of the saliva may encourage inflammation of the gums.

Using the medical history sheet, the doctor can see which medication the patient is taking and which diseases are causing inflammation of the gums. The check-up should take place once a year.

Inflamed gums in the child

Also children are used by the Zpinnitis not spared. With poor dental hygiene - as with adults - Redness of the gums, such as Bleeding gums occur. Since the little ones often don't clean properly yet, here are them parents asked. These should regularly at least up to early school age Check dental hygiene or even improve it to reduce tooth and soft tissue damage.

Also Canker sores are often found in children. Mechanical stimuli such as Braces or food intolerances are suspected to trigger them. Most of the causes are relatively harmless and can be eliminated with simple therapy.

The situation is different with periodontal disease. The "Juvenile periodontitis" represents a special form. This is a very aggressive form periodontal disease, which begins in childhood or adolescence. It progresses quickly without treatment and can lead to Tooth loss to lead. The central incisors and the first large molars are particularly affected. You should therefore always keep an eye on them. Often this form of periodontal disease occurs more frequently within a family, which is why it is assumed that it is partially inheritable is.

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