What Are the Different Types of Gum Infections?

While many people are aware of symptoms of a gum infection, many patients may be surprised to discover that gum disease has several different types of infection. These infection tpes can differ in intensity as well as the part of the teeth that will be affected. This article will explore some of those main ones:

What Are The Different Types of Gum Infection?

There are different types of dental infection, differing mainly in their intensity and the part of your teeth that will be affected. Some of the more common infection types include:

Decay

It is often thought that cavities only affect young children who eat too many sweets, but they can affect adults too. They must be taken seriously, because cavities are most often the first stage of a more serious and painful infection, such as a dental abscess.

A cavity always begins with the formation of dental plaque on the surface of your teeth. These are food deposits that clump together after each meal, and that is not removed properly when you brush your teeth. In contact with saliva, but also bacteria, your dental plaque will transform the sugars you eat into lactic acid which will eat away the enamel of your teeth. 

Gingivitis

Another very common infection is gingivitis (which affects more than 80% of French people aged between 35 and 44). Also caused by the formation of dental plaque, it will result in significant bleeding, as well as swelling of your gum.

Not always resulting in pain, gingivitis will generally be detected only after an appointment with your dentist.

Periodontitis

When gingivitis is not treated in time, it can continue to develop until it reaches the periodontitis stage. It can affect one or more of your teeth. It results in the destruction (whose origin is bacterial) of the tissue that supports your teeth, the periodontium. Periodontitis also has the distinction of being discreet and is most often manifested by bleeding from the gum, but also by bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth. It is however very important to treat it in time if you do not want your tooth to move (this is called dental loosening) and eventually fall out. To treat periodontitis, it is usually enough to make regular mouthwashes and use a special toothpaste. Your dentist can also do a surfacing, which will remove the tartar that has accumulated near the bone tissue of your tooth. If that is not enough, you will have no choice but to open the gum to clean your tooth thoroughly and add more bone if the root of your tooth has been too damaged.

How Can I Relieve Pain from a Dental Infection?

Since it will not always be possible for you to have an appointment the same day with your dentist, it is always useful to know natural and fast methods to fight against the pain caused by a dental infection. You can, for example:

  • Use mouthwash;
  • Apply an anesthetic gel to the infected tooth;
  • Apply essential oils (from the tea tree, but also to the clove) on the area that hurts you using a cotton swab;
  • Make a mouthwash with a solution based on baking soda and hydrogen peroxide (or just lukewarm);
  • Place a clove on your painful tooth (it will release eugenol, a very effective agent in controlling pain).

Of course, these are only emergency measures while waiting to be treated by a specialist.

How Can I Prevent a Dental Infection?

And because it’s always better to avoid the pain (and the salty addition) of a dental infection, be aware that a few very simple preventive measures can help you keep your teeth healthy:

  • Start by washing your teeth regularly (preferably three times a day, after each meal); 
    regularly change your toothbrush, and favor soft bristles; 

  • See your dentist (at least once a year for adults, and two to three times for children). And take the opportunity to make a good descaling that will allow you to get rid of your dental plaque; 

  • Limit or quit your tobacco consumption (which promotes periodontitis) and sugary foods or too acidic (especially fruit juices and soft drinks, such as sodas) that demineralized your enamel and promote the formation of bacteria (which eat sugar). 

Questions? Contact Dr. Brian Gurinsky

If you have any additional questions about the different types of infections that can arise or are seeking to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gurinsky, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff today!

We offer periodontal services in two convenient locations: One periodontal office in Denver, CO and one periodontal office in Centennial, CO. 

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