GUM INFLAMMATION: Are they the same?


Gum inflammation (or gingivitis) is the most frequent oral health problem that should be taken seriously. Gum diseases can progress severely. It may affect bone surrounding and supporting your teeth and even lose your teeth if they are left untreated. Red, swollen, tender and bleeding gums are main symptoms of gum inflammation. Other symptoms could be oral pain or bad breath.

However, there are several types of gum inflammation which resulted from different causes. It is a good idea to understand what cause inflamed gum so that you can recognize and have it treated properly.

Plaque-induced gum inflammation


Plaque-induced gum inflammation in a male adult patient.

Gum inflammation is most often caused by plaque, which is a sticky film forming on your teeth and gum. Because plaque contains harmful bacteria that release toxins, it will irritate your gum if it is not removed.

The solution for this situation is to have plaque removed by a professional cleaning conducted by the dentists. 

To avoid this condition, you must brush your teeth at least twice a day in a proper way. Regular visit to your dentist at least twice a year to check your oral health contdition.

Here below, we  will introduce some kind of gum inflammation/ gingivitis

Puberty gum inflammation

Puberty gum inflammation in a teenager with neglected hygiene.

During puberty stage, hormonal changes put teenagers at higher risk for getting gum disease. Puberty gum inflammation is a very common finding in both male and female adolescence but not really well-known. Majority of the cases puberty gum inflammation shows a peak in incidence at 11 to 13 years of age.

The most common symptoms in young patient include bleeding and swelling of the gum at the embrasure between two adjacent teeth. Generally, the margin of gum tissues shows a linear reddish coloration. In the early years shortly after developing, puberty gingivitis may not seem like a serious condition. However, dental plaque accumulates more easier around swollen gums, leading to a much more severe inflammatory condition.

The best treatment for puberty gum inflammation would be to prevent it. It is advisable to brush at least twice a day and use floss to remove plaque between to adjacent teeth. Visiting your dentists take examination and solve it well.

Pregnancy gum inflammation

Pregnancy gum enlargement in a 7-month pregnant woman

Similar to puberty gum inflammation, increased levels of progesterone hormone that come with pregnancy cause an increased response to plaque bacteria in the mouth. Sometimes, gums enlarge significantly and look like a small tumor.

Pregnancy gum tumors usually disappear on their own after the baby’s birth. However, if the tumor interferes with eating, your dentists may choose to remove it by a simple procedure performed under local anesthesia. If the lump is not removable, your dentist will try to determine the possible cause that trigger the tumor’s, such as plaque, and remove the cause.

Scientists show that pregnancy gum inflammation is often much more serious in woman whose oral hygiene were neglected before pregnant period. Therefore, woman should take a careful antenatal examination including dental care before getting pregnant. Maintaining the health of your teeth and gum is necessary to avoid the risk of developing pregnancy gum inflammation.

Drug-induced gum enlargement.


 Phenytoin-induced gum inflammation

Cyclosporine-induced gum enlargement

Amlodipine-induced gum inflammation.

Drug-induced gum enlargement occurs due to an adverse drug reaction (ADR) in patients treated with anti-seizure medication (eg: Phenytoin), immunosuppressant (eg: Cyclosporine) or calcium channel blocker (eg: Amlodipine).

Because all of these conditions are considered as a side effect of some medically compromised problems. It could not be solved only by dentists but also by other medical specialists. Lowering dose of drugs or changing other drugs could help to reduce gum symptoms. However, treatment strategies must be determined by a specialists’ consultation.

Effective plaque control can reduce and prevent gum enlargement. Individually, patient could manage plaque control by maintaining good oral hygiene; brushing teeth thoroughly or advancely with electric toothbrush, flossing interdental space. In some circumstances, severe gum enlargement interferes oral hygiene, you should visit your dentist to get professional plaque removal.


Gum inflammation is one the most common oral problem. Due to several causes, there are many ways to approach and control inflammative situation. Raising your awareness and visiting your dentist regularly are the most effective means to prevent and solve your gum problems.


Newman, Michael G, Henry H. Takei, Perry R. Klokkevold, and Fermin A. Carranza. Newman and Carranza’s Clinical Periodontology. , 2019.

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