If you experience gum inflammation or bleeding, you may think that you have gingivitis. While gum disease, or gingivitis, is the most common reason for inflamed or bleeding gums, there are other, less common conditions that may be causing your symptoms. Here are three uncommon reasons for gum inflammation and what you can do about them.
Hormonal fluctuations are common during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. During these times, hormones, such as estrogen, can fluctuate wildly. Estrogen is thought to play an important role in the health of your gums, and when circulating levels of this hormone are abnormal, your gums may suffer.
If your physician determines that your hormone levels are too low, make sure you see your dentist on a regular basis so he or she can closely monitor the condition of your oral cavity. While estrogen replacement therapy is not typically appropriate during puberty or pregnancy, it is a viable treatment option for women in menopause. Not only can hormone replacement therapy help diminish menopause-related symptoms, such as hot flashes, it may also help improve the condition of your gum tissue.
If you have been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, such as epilepsy, your doctor may have recommended that you take an anti-seizure medication. While these prescription drugs are effective in controlling seizure activity, they can lead to a condition known as gingival hyperplasis, or gum overgrowth.
This disorder can cause your gum tissue to grow over your teeth, and sometimes, in-between the spaces of your teeth. If you take an anti-seizure medication and notice that your gums are inflamed or bleed easily, see your dentist. In the meantime, your physician may be able to lower the dosage of your seizure medication or even switch your prescription to a different one that is less likely to cause problems with your gums.
Allergic reactions can lead to the release of chemicals in your body known as pro-inflammatory cytokines. These substances can cause a body-wide inflammatory response, leading to joint and muscle pain, fatigue, and even gum inflammation. If you have allergies and develop bleeding or swollen gums, see your dentist.
In the meantime, try taking an over-the-counter antihistamine, which will not only control allergy-related sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, but will also help slow the release of cytokines. When cytokine release is minimized, systemic inflammation will decrease as well, leading to an improvement in the condition of your gums.
If you develop bleeding or inflamed gums, see your dentist. When gum problems are recognized and treated early on, the less likely you will be to experience infection or a serious form of gingivitis known as periodontitis.
For more information, contact a dentist like Pinon Hills Dental.