Tooth inflammation. Woman with tooth pain. Woman at desk.

Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Inflammation is another name for the inflammation of the gums that accompanies periodontitis, or gum disease. The gums become swollen, red, and tender to the touch but the problem can sometimes be much worse than that. The bacteria causing the inflammation can weaken the bone structures in the jaw, eventually leading to loose teeth or even teeth falling out. If inflammation isn’t diagnosed and treated early on, it can lead to further issues. You may have a need for bone grafting, dental implants, or other treatments with your periodontist in Vero Beach, FL.

Symptoms of Periodontitis & Inflammation

When the gums are healthy and normal, they should fit snugly around the teeth. They will have a nice, robust, pink coloration to them. When inflammation from periodontitis sets in, one of the main symptoms should be obvious from the name: The gums become “inflamed.” Here are some additional symptoms that can indicate inflammation:

  • Gums become swollen
  • Gums take on a different hue or color, from bright red to purple
  • Gum tenderness and bleeding
  • Blood appears on the toothbrush when brushing
  • Painful chewing during meals
  • Teeth become loose or fall out
  • New spaces appear between teeth as they drift apart due to gum swelling
  • Receding gums, which makes teeth appear longer than normal
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Bad breath

Inflammation of the gums can be incredibly serious, because the bacteria that cause the infection can create additional health problems if they enter the bloodstream. For example, periodontitis has been linked to both respiratory disease and coronary artery disease. The condition is also linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Diabetics have more difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels when they have inflamed gums.

Causes of Inflammation & Periodontitis

Certain health factors can make you more at risk for developing inflammation of the gums. Obesity, diabetes, cancer treatment and tobacco use can all put you at a greater risk of periodontitis. Genetics can play role, as well as vitamin C deficiency. Sometimes changes to the body’s hormonal system can lead to gum disease, such as pregnancy and menopause.

One of the biggest contributors to inflammation of the gums, however, is improper oral care. Failing to brush your teeth twice a day can lead to a trip to the dentist in Vero Beach, FL for inflammation of the gums. Here is the process by which a lack of proper brushing can lead to periodontitis:

  • Plaque: The problem originates with the plaque that builds up on the teeth if a person doesn’t properly and adequately brush and floss their teeth.
  • Tartar: If plaque remains on the teeth, it hardens into calculus or tartar. That tartar is full of bacteria and it’s also much harder for your friendly Vero Beach dental professional to remove. Brushing and flossing won’t even make a dent in tartar — you need a professional cleaning to remove it.
  • Gingivitis: If tartar and plaque are left in place too long, it leads to the milder form of gum inflammation known as gingivitis. Proper care and treatment can usually clear up gingivitis.
  • Finally, Inflammation and Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated for too long, the ultimate issue will of course be periodontitis. Pockets of infected material and bacteria form between the teeth and gums, ultimately leading to periodontitis. In a worst case scenario, bone and tissue loss can lead to tooth loss.

The process begins with a lack of proper oral hygiene. If you want to maximize your chances of never developing inflammation in the first place, it starts with your own toothbrush.

Treatment for Inflammation & Periodontitis

The treatment for inflammation will vary depending on the location and how severe the problem is. Non-invasive, non-surgical options are available. These include laser scaling to remove tartar beneath the gum line, root planing to smooth the surfaces of the roots, and antibiotics to get the infection under control.

If a more serious surgical intervention is needed, Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics is here for you. We are equipped with the staff and technology to provide the best possible treatment outcomes. Surgical treatments for inflammation include:

  • Pocket reduction surgery
  • Soft tissue grafts and bone grafts in preparation for dental implants
  • Guided tissue regeneration
  • Tissue-stimulating proteins

Contact Us for Inflammation Treatment in Vero Beach, FL

If you’re showing any symptoms of inflammation, it’s definitely time for a visit to the dentist in Vero Beach, FL. Contact Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics at (772) 569-9700 to schedule an appointment.