Gum Emergencies

Dental emergencies are sadly not relegated to only the teeth. Your lips, gums, cheeks and jawbone and joints can also act up and cause emergencies that are dental emergencies but do not have anything to do with teeth. In this article, I will be talking about some of the emergencies that can affect the periodontium and the gingiva. Most of the time dental emergencies do not require an emergency appointment, but an appointment for as soon as possible is strongly recommended.


Bacterial infections of the gums are called periodontitis, and although the symptoms can be various, and need to be treated differently depending on what they are, the cause is always bacteria eating away at the gums. The symptoms will only stop and never return if you take antibiotics, though. In extremely severe cases, periodontal surgery is necessary, and some of the gum may need to be removed. Here are some of the symptoms of periodontitis: 

- Swollen gums: The presence of swollen gums always indicates an infection in the tissues. If there is swelling in the mouth around one tooth, than treating the tooth with a root canal treatment and a course of antibiotics is usually enough, but sometimes the tooth needs to be extracted and the gums around it treated more drastically to rid the tissue of the bacterial infection. The more severe case is if the swelling is not limited to just one tooth or area, but is swollen everywhere in the mouth. In this case, periodontitis has affected the entirety of the gingiva, and must be treated as such, and only antibiotics can help. If antibiotic treatment is not getting some of the results, or after the bacteria has passed parts of the gums are badly damaged, surgical intervention may be necessary.

- Lesions or abscess: If there are tiny painful open sores in the mouth  and on the gums, then we know for certain that a more severe case of periodontitis is the culprit. In these cases, surgery is very frequently needed, and antibiotics are almost always prescribed to fight the infection. Topical ointment and curettage are usually enough to stop any and all problems that may be around, but sometimes more severe procedures like a gum graft are needed to heal the gums. 

- Gum recession: Sometimes the gums, instead of swelling up to combat bacteria, will shrink away from them. Gum recession is almost always caused by plaque on the teeth that is very heavily infected with bacteria, and the gums shrink away from them in order to not become infected. Usually gum recession does not warrant the use of antibiotics or surgery, and frequently a hygiene session and complete disinfection of the mouth is enough to start the healing process, and the gums will come back to their previous condition. But sometimes the recession is too mhc, and a gum graft is needed to regenerate the gums.  

- Loose teeth: The gums serve multiple functions in the mouth. First and foremost, they anchor teeth to the jawbone, and second of all, they lubricate the mouth and keep the stuff in it in good condition. When the gums are not working properly, because they are busy fighting off an infection, your teeth may become loose and may even fall out entirely. Usually the loosening of teeth will be accompanied with one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, and the cause of the loosening will be the infection at hand. It will need to be fought off using the methods mentioned above, and you will need to go on a special diet to help strengthen and revitalize your gums. During the time that your gums are making their comeback, you should not eat hard foods, but rather something soft, the softer the better. You may need to go and eat puréed foods and mashed veggies for a while, but once you teeth are safely in your alveolus again and are not mobile anymore, you will be happy you did. 

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