Gum infection or periodontitis develops once bacteria present in dental plaque multiplies and infects the gums. The condition is typically triggered by poor oral hygiene and can progress to gingival abscess that occurs once pus due to the breakdown of blood vessels and nerves develops in the gums.
When it comes to gum infection, it is usually managed with antibiotics. In case the damage is severe, the individual might require tissue or bone grafts. If the individual develop symptoms of abscess or periodontitis, a dentist should be consulted as soon as possible.
Pain due to a gum infection
The pain can be described as continuous and gnawing. This is the initial symptom of gum infection but it is possible in some cases to have periodontitis without pain. In case the gum infection develops as a gingival abscess, it can be accompanied by intense pain especially while chewing. Aside from the painful gums, the neighboring tooth is also painful when tapped and the gums are tender to the touch.
Remember that warm liquids or foods can increase the discomfort. The pain can worsen when lying down. The individual can be given over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin as long that the individual has no conditions that contraindicates their use. These medications work by reducing the pain while waiting for a consultation with a dentist.
Puffy or dark red gums
Swollen gums are another indication of gum infection. The gums might also appear dark, dusky or purplish red in appearance. Take note that healthy gums are pale pink in color and firm.
Fever and swollen gums
If the individual has gum infection, especially if a gingival abscess has developed, he/she might end up with fever along with swollen lymph glands in the neck. In such cases, the individual will also feel tired or generally sick.
Bad breath and sour taste
Having a bitter or sour taste in the mouth is also an indication of gum infection. This is also accompanied by a foul breath.
Pain behind the cheekbones
Maxillary sinusitis is triggered by the bacteria from the infected gums which enter the spaces behind the cheekbones. This results to an aching or piercing pain behind the cheeks. This complication can be remedied using antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
What are the dangerous symptoms and possible complications?
Always bear in mind that gum infection in the long run can harm the soft tissues and underlying bone responsible for supporting the teeth. The complications of gum abscess are likely to include osteomyelitis or bone infection which triggers intense pain in the affected bone, fever and nausea.
Another complication that can occur is Ludwig’s angina which is a potentially life-threatening complication from an abscess. This condition causes intense pain under the tongue and in the neck which makes it hard to breath and swelling. It is vital to seek immediate medical care if any of these symptoms are present.