Gingiva (Gingivitis) is normally known as gum. It is pinkish-brown in color. It is a soft tissue that holds the teeth in bony sockets by adhering the teeth firmly through periodontal ligaments to the periosteum. If for any reason any inflammation starts in gum tissue then this is known as Gingivitis. It is the main cause of loss of teeth in adults. There are two stages in gum inflammation, Early-stage- known as Gingivitis and Later stage- if not treated properly, it may cause periodontitis.
The main reason for Gingivitis is plaque accumulation. It may occur as a result of poor dental and oral hygiene. It should be kept in mind that this condition is reversible. So simple treatment of this condition is to keep good oral hygiene by daily brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist. When a dentist cleans the teeth, it is known as scaling.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to Periodontitis.
- Periodontitis Symptoms include:
- Redness and swelling of gums
- Loss of gums from certain places
- Bone loss
When gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces which is known as pockets. These pockets sometimes get infected through bacteria. If this condition is not treated, then bone, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed which at times results in loss of teeth.
Causes of Gum Diseases
There are various possible reasons for gum diseases.
Poor oral hygiene– The main cause of gum disease is an accumulation of plaque as a result of poor brushing of teeth.
If plaque is not removed, it hardens to forms tartar (another name of tartar is calculus). The main difference between plaque and tartar is that tartar sticks much strongly on the teeth than plaque and it can only be removed by a dentist. The calcified portion of tartar causes progressive accumulation of more plaque and further advances the disease. This will cause inflammation of gums and in the future, it may cause loosening of teeth.
Smoking and Chewing tobacco– As smoking reduces the blood supply of gums, our body is not able to repair damaged tissue. Besides this, a chemical substance also found in which is known as nicotine which is toxic to gums.
Hormonal changes like pregnancy, puberty, menopause – Pregnancy causes an increased level of progesterone which further causes bacteria to grow as well as make gum tissues more sensitive to plaque causes gingivitis. It is seen that between second to eight months of pregnancy gingivitis ranges from redder looking gums that bleed while brushing to severe swelling and bleeding of gum tissues. In Puberty, there is increased production of sex hormones which increases gum sensitivity and leads to greater irritation from plaque and food particles. In menopause, there is a lower level of estrogen which causes gum diseases.
Certain medical conditions including Genetics, diseases like Diabetes, epilepsy, leukemia.
It is seen that when diabetes is poorly managed it can lead to diseases of gum as the structure of the blood vessels is changed to diabetes. Diabetes can lead to infection which may reach the bone and the gums causing more infection. If diabetes is not controlled, a high level of glucose in the mouth fluid encourages the growth of gum disease-causing bacteria.
Sometimes HIV may cause HIV gingivitis which is also called linear gingival erythema which is painful and bleed easily associated with rapid tissue destruction.
Patient with physical and emotional stresses– Increase stress causes an increase in the level of stress hormone which affects the gums. Also, people who are more stressed have poor oral hygiene as they take less care of their teeth. They are also indulged in habits like the use of nicotine, alcohol, drugs and all these habits lead to the disease of gums.
Deficiency of Vitamin C– It causes hemorrhage, collagen degeneration, and enema of the gingival connective tissue. Gums become bluish-red, soft, friable, and bleed on slight provocation.
- Trauma during brushing of teeth
- The habit of clenching and grinding of teeth
Medicines like steroids, anti-epileptic drugs, cancer therapy, calcium channel blockers, use of oral contraceptives. Drugs like Calcium channel blockers can cause gingival hyperplasia, gum inflammation.
Chemotherapy drugs make tissue dry and irritated or cause them to bleed.
Gingival growth occurs as a side effect of Anticonvulsants (Phenytoin), Immunosuppressive agents (Cyclosporine A), and Calcium channel blockers (Nifedipine).
Gingivitis can also be caused by oral contraceptives, as oral contraceptives have high doses of estrogen which cause gum related diseases.
Types of Gingivitis
Non-plaque induced gingival disease– This is caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungus. It at times may cause by genetic inheritance as it may be seen in the family. Trauma due to brushing and allergic reaction towards drugs may be other factors of this type. In this, no plaque is formed.
Gingival lesions associated with specific bacterial infections– This mainly caused by bacteria like Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Treponema pallidum, streptococci, Mycobacterium chelonae. Symptoms of Gingival lesions are Gums are extremely red, swollen, and painful. The sometimes affected area may be asymptomatic. Another part of the body can also be affected by this condition.
Viral infections– Herpes simplex virus, like HSV-1 and HSV-2, and infection by varicella-zoster may cause this disease.
A fungal infection like candidosis and cause gingivitis.
A genetic disorder like Hereditary gingival fibromatosis can also cause gingivitis. It is present with mental retardation and epilepsy.
Some systemic conditions may also cause gingivitis like lichen planus, pemphigoid, pemphigoid Vulgaris, multiform erythema, lupus erythema, drug-induced mucocutaneous diseases, and some allergic reactions may also cause this condition.
Besides these diseases some other disorder which may cause gingivitis are-
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines. Symptoms of this condition are- abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or weight loss, rashes on the body, arthritis, eye inflammation, tiredness, and lack of concentration.
Symptoms of Gum Diseases
- Bad smell from mouth
- Bleed easily- when touching, brushing
- Exposure of roots
- Gum color change which ranges from pale red to magenta
- Loss of teeth
- Pocket formation
- Pulling of gums from teeth
- Receding gums and loss of gums from some areas
- Red and Swollen Gums
- Spontaneous bleeding
- Tooth mobility as a result of bone destruction
- Mostly seen in adults above 35 years but can also occur in children and young adults.
- This condition usually slow to develop.
- Medicinal Management of Gingivitis
In homeopathy, there are certain medicines available that can help with gum diseases without any side effects.
This remedy is associated with profuse bleeding from small wounds with the offensive smell from discharges. It also has burning pain along with complaints. It is given to a patient whose lips are red and there is profuse bleeding. It can also be given to children who have painful dentition. This child will not sleep. It is given when in the teeth of these children decay very rapidly with sponge-like bleeding gums. There is a putrid odor from the mouth with a bitter taste. The teeth of this patient are dark and break very easily. It can be given to a person who is very sensitive to music. Music causes weeping in this individual. In children, it is given when a child wants everything but throws it away when given. The blood coagulates quickly too. The lips may also bleed or maybe red in color.
One of the best Homeopathic medicines for bleeding gums with black blood
Dosage-30, 3 drops per dose for a week until improvement.
2- Mercurius sol
This remedy covers a wide range of diseases which include marasmus which is caused by malnutrition, various kinds of abscesses on the body, painful gum condition of the mouth. All complaint of this medicine is worse at night, from the warmth of the bed, from cold, rainy weather, and when a patient has perspiration. It can cure the tendency of the formation of pus. It is given when a patient experiences a sweetish metallic taste. There is an increased salivary secretion. Saliva is fetid with a coppery taste. It is a very effective remedy for spongy, receding gums that bleed easily. Gums are sore to touch and the patient has difficulty in chewing. It can be given when teeth are loose and feel tender and elongated. The tongue is heavy, thick, moist with a coating that is yellow. There are imprints of teeth. It can treat bad smell from the mouth, which is so strong that it can smell it all over the room. Patient experiences great thirst with a moist mouth.
Dosage- 30 is taken thrice daily for one week. Then one week off and then resumed again the following week. Alternate weeks on and off until results are complete, but no longer than over a period of 2 months.
4- Nitricum Acidum
This remedy should be given to people who are dark complexion whose pains appear and disappear quickly. They have various types of blisters and ulcers in the mouth and tongue. These people take cold very easily This is an important remedy for pyorrhea, where the patient has putrid breath from the mouth. The patient complains of bleeding from the gums. It is given when a patient has painful pimples on the sides of the tongue. The tongue of this patient is often clean, red, and wet with a central furrow. It is given when teeth become loose and gums are soft and spongy. Bloody saliva is often seen in these patients.
Dosage-30 thrice daily for one week. Then one week off and then resumed again the following week. Alternate weeks on and off until results are complete, but no longer than over a period of 2 months.
It is best suited to persons who have dark hair with a well built muscular body and who are often nervous. They fear touch or the approach of anyone. They have a total lack of interest and have an inability to perform continuous active work. Their whole body is oversensitive. It is a very good remedy for halitosis( that is a bad smell from the mouth). The patient has a bitter taste, taste as if from bad eggs. It is given when a patient has soreness of gums after tooth extraction.
Dosage–30 C 4 pellets two times a day for 10 days until improvement.
It is suited to a person who has very unhealthy skin and great sensitivity to everything. It is a very good remedy that can cure pus formation. The patient is very angry and very anxious, especially night and evening with thoughts of suicide. It is given when the patient’s gums and mouth are painful to touch and they bleed easily. It is also given for excessive salivation.
Dosage-6C 4 pellets three times a day for 7 days until improvement.