Gum infections range from conditions such as mild gingivitis to gum disease and periapical abscesses around the root of the tooth. Initial infection can begin as slight sensitivity while severe forms of infection may also involve clear or cloudy white drainage from the area of infection. Gum infections are typically due to poor oral hygiene and existing dental disease or tooth decay.
Gum Infections From Gum Disease
Gums often appear infected when in fact they are experiencing symptoms of gingivitis or moderate to severe gum disease. Small amounts of plaque congregate along the gumlines, depositing the bacteria below the gums. When not removed effectively, the body induces a swelling and bleeding response to the infected area. Severe forms of gum disease will also cause destruction of the supporting bone, causing tooth loss.
Gum Infections From Dental Decay
When tooth decay is left untreated, it continues to spread throughout the tooth enamel and may also spread to adjacent teeth. Once the decay has reached the inner portion of the tooth, the nerve of the tooth becomes infected. This infection will attempt to drain, and often causes a pimple or abscess near the root of the tooth, draining through the gum tissue. Most abscesses appear to come and go, but the condition is permanent until your dentist removes all of the decay and repairs the tooth.
Viral Or Bacterial Infection
In some cases you can develop gum infections due to viral or bacterial conditions. Examples such as thrush are due to bacteria building up in the mouth due to bad habits and improper oral hygiene. For example, not removing dentures or partial dentures can allow bacteria to buildup under the prosthesis and cause bacterial infections on the gum tissue. Viral infections such as ulcers can cause irritation, but typically go away on their own within about two weeks.
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