Are you suffering from a gum infection? Then you should get to your dentist immediately or arrange for an emergency dental appointment. Gum infections aren't just painful; they are also indicative of further dental issues. As such, don't just rely on saltwater and painkillers to get you through a gum infection. You need to identify the cause and cure the infection.
Although bacteria cause gum infections, certain conditions need to be present in order for bacterial organisms to thrive.
Gum Infections Have Numerous Causes
Your mouth is teeming with microorganisms. However, in a healthy mouth, these organisms cause little damage to your teeth and gums. This is because a hard layer of enamel protects the nerves of your teeth, and a layer of gum tissue keeps bacteria from invading the spaces that contain the jawbone, teeth roots and periodontal ligaments.
However, poor oral hygiene, accidents and problems with teeth can leave the door open for bacteria to gain access to the area beneath the gum tissue.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Throughout the day, the bad bacteria in your mouth, along with a buildup of food particles, form a sticky film on the surface of your teeth. You know this film as plaque. Normally, most people remove this film when they brush their teeth at night and in the morning. However, if you skip brushing sessions regularly, or miss areas of a tooth's surface when brushing, plaque soon hardens into tartar.
Tartar is acidic and causes the gums around your teeth to pull away, leaving open spaces for bacteria to enter places they shouldn't have access to. Once they do, infection soon sets in.
If you damage your gums through brushing your teeth too hard, accidentally cutting or scratching your gum or getting food, such as a popcorn kernel, stuck between your teeth, your gums may recede. When gums recede, they pull away from the teeth and leave a pocket into which bacteria can enter and thrive. Again, the result is infection.
Wisdom Teeth and Damaged Teeth
A common cause of gum infections is when wisdom teeth don't erupt correctly. Instead of erupting into position beside the other teeth, wisdom teeth sometimes erupt at an angle or become lodged in the bone and gum tissue. This can leave a flap of gum covering the tooth, under which bacteria can hide and thrive. Food particles may also become trapped in this area.
Can you leave a gum infection to heal by itself? Probably not.
Gum Infections Turn into Gum Abscesses
If you leave your gum infection as it is, without seeking dental treatment, you risk allowing the bacteria to invade and destroy the bone tissue, periodontal ligaments and gums that hold your teeth in place. As a result, you could end up losing one or more teeth. You could also end up with periodontal disease, which is a serious and incurable gum disease.
Do you have a gum infection? If so, you should consider booking an appointment with an emergency dentist in your area.