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Gum Diseases

Gum inflammation

06/02/2008

Question:

For about a week, my upper gums appear inflamed, for no particular cause I can determine. They are more red than pink, and mildly uncomfortable, though there is no bleeding, tooth pain, or visible abcess. I do feel somewhat sluggish and flu-ish, which could indicate infection.

I have had periodontal disease, and previous root planing and scaling. I do try hard, though, to maintain good oral health. My teeth are cleaned every 3 months. At my last cleaning in April, my periodontal pockets were measured at 3-5 mm., which seemed to satisfy my periodontist. I floss daily, brush several times a day, and use a fluoride rinse.

What might be your thoughts about possible causes, and especially treatment of this inflammation? Are there forms of self-care (e.g., warm water, rinses, antibiotics) that are likely to be effective? If left untreated, is this likely to resolve on its own, stay the same, or get worse? I`ll be grateful for any thoughts you have. Thanks.

Answer:

Red gums without bleeding...Uncomfortable, sluggish and flu-ish...

These may be clinical signs of some type of viral infection (not the bacterial infection we routinely deal with for gingivitis and periodontitis). Please visit your periodontist. These are generally periodic and continue approximately 10 days and go away, and then come back. It needs to be controlled before it causes severe bone loss.

You may also have some type of mucocutaneous disorder (mainly skin problem, but you see signs of it on gums). In any case, you should visit your periodontist.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University