Inflammation of the gums with pus


Inflammation of the gums, also called gingivitis in dentistry, describes an inflammatory reaction of the gums that is triggered by bacteria.

In contrast to periodontitis (inflammation of the periodontium), the periodontium is not affected. But be careful, because one Untreated gingivitis can quickly develop into periodontal disease. Then there is a risk of receding gums and gum pockets.

Gum inflammation can go undetected for a long time because it doesn't always cause pain and manifests itself in symptoms such as red gums, swelling, and bleeding that are not easy to spot. Bad breath and pus can also appear as side effects.

Causes of gingivitis with pus

The causes of inflammation of the gums, as with many diseases in the oral cavity, are bacteria that form plaque and plaque by multiplying and excreting metabolic products that not only attack the hard dental tissue, but also the surrounding tissue.
They also produce Toxins (Toxins) and enzymes that increase irritation.

The body wants to fight off the bacteria and reacts with an inflammatory reaction. The classic therapy, especially if pus is present, is to improve oral hygiene and use ointments to fight the bacteria so the gums can recover.

Difference from periodontal disease

While gingivitis is a pure inflammation of the gums, periodontitis describes the inflammation of all structures that hold the tooth. In addition to the gums, this also includes the bones, the fiber apparatus and the root cement that adhere to the tooth.

Untreated gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, a Inflammation of the teeth develop. The tissue in the oral cavity can change significantly. The color turns from pale pink to red and the tissues tighten and swell. The papillae, i.e. the gum areas that fill the space between the teeth, develop back, so that so-called "black triangles“Arise.

By the formation of gum pockets of more than 5 mm, bacteria and food residues can accumulate and form pus. The affected person feels severe pain and an unpleasant bad breath. The taste sensation is also negatively affected.

If the gingivitis is not treated, the teeth will loosen up in the further course, which in the worst case may lead to tooth loss, as the bone breaks down under the bacterial inflammation. The teeth are less and less anchored in the bone and thus wobble.

Therapeutically, the dentist initiates periodontitis therapy, in which the gums are cleaned of all bacteria both superficially and in depth. In periodontitis, a bacteria test can be used to diagnose which bacterial strain is responsible for the individual progression of the disease. Furthermore, antibiotic therapy can help to specifically combat the excess of key bacteria in periodontitis in order to stop the disease from spreading.

It is important that the patient practices very thorough oral hygiene, because only independent cooperation combined with dental therapy can combat periodontitis. This also includes a temporary treatment with a mouthwash solution that Chlorhexidine digluconate includes. Rinsing twice a day for two weeks also helps restore healthy oral flora. Patients who suffer from or have already suffered from periodontitis should be closely involved in the dental recall and counter a setback with regular professional tooth cleaning (in some cases up to 4 times a year).

Pus in the gum pocket

Inflammation of the gums associated with pus is a very unpleasant undertaking for the person concerned, as the pus is primarily stored in deepened gum pockets that cannot be reached by the person concerned. This prevents the pus from draining and the inflammation spreads unless the dentist is visited as soon as possible.

This creates an inflammatory tendency to spread. The inflamed pocket gets deeper and deeper and dissolves the bone around the tooth so that it becomes loose. If left untreated, this process can go so far that the tooth is no longer in the bone and simply falls out. The dentist will professionally clean and rinse the pocket so that it is freed of bacteria and pus in order to stop the process of bone loss and, if necessary, reverse it with therapy to save the tooth.

You might also be interested in this article: Abscess on the tooth

Development of pus

The formation of pus is usually triggered by an infection with bacteria. Its components are proteins and cellular decay products. The local tissue melts (dissolves), which is triggered either by the pathogen and / or by one's own immune system. Its consistency can vary from creamy to thin, but the color and smell provide an initial indication of the type of bacteria causing it.

The pus does not initially form visible under the gums, but emerges as soon as pressure is applied. The accumulation of pus is noticeable through an uncomfortable pressure in the affected area.

The body wants to get rid of the disease and therefore responds by secreting pus. Such an accumulation can also be a sign of a tooth root inflammation.
Due to its location, the pus cannot flow out of the root canal and instead collects under the gums.

At the first signs of an accumulation of pus, it is imperative to see a dentist who can remove the purulent focus and diagnose the cause. Removing the accumulation of pus yourself or not treating it is not recommended as the substances could enter the bloodstream.

Fistula on the tooth

A localized inflammation of the gums on a tooth or below the tip of the root can form a fistula. The fistula is a connection between the focus of inflammation and the oral cavity, through which the resulting pressure can be released and pus can drain away.

A fistula does not necessarily have to end in the oral cavity, it can also emerge on the outside of the facial skin and look like a pimple. The fistula always looks for that Path of Least Resistance. The pus is consistently released, so that an unpleasant smell and taste is created in the oral cavity and the tissue around the fistula is sensitive. The gums are reddened and slightly thickened at this point, and even touching them can be uncomfortable.

Therapeutically, a root canal treatment is initiated on the affected tooth; if the root filling has already been introduced, an attempt is made to save the tooth with a root tip resection and removal of the fistula.

Inflammation of the gums caused by a wisdom tooth

Wisdom teeth are remnants from human evolution and are no longer needed today due to the changed nutritional conditions. They often remain in the jaw, but can also break through, which often leads to complications due to the lack of space in the dentition. The cleaning of this area is also very difficult, so that bacteria remain and irritate the tissue in an inflammatory manner.

If there is not enough space, the wisdom tooth presses on the neighboring tooth or breaks through only halfway. All of these possible positions of the tooth can lead to inflammation, e.g. can be remedied by removing the tooth.

Gum inflammation begins to spread most when the tooth has only broken through halfway and the bacteria have an easy time forming gum pockets. This will too Gum hood called and forms a loophole for bacteria and food scraps that can hardly be cleaned by the person concerned.

As this quickly creates a focus of inflammation, which brings very unpleasant pain symptoms and increases the risk of abscess formation, these wisdom teeth are prophylactically removed. The inflammation of the wisdom teeth lining can include pus formation and trigger a clamp, which means that the mouth opening is restricted. Furthermore, they also pose a risk of displacing the existing teeth in the dental arch and thereby causing misaligned teeth. Therefore, from the age of 16 to around 25 years, the position of the wisdom teeth should be clarified by a dentist, oral surgeon or oral and maxillofacial surgeon and, if necessary, removed if there is not enough space.

Read more on the topic: Inflammation of the wisdom tooth

Inflammation of the gums during pregnancy

Inflammation of the gums during pregnancy is not uncommon. The changed hormone balance can have an impact on the oral cavity, so one speaks of one during this time Pregnancy gingivitis.
This is not caused by bacteria, but can be more easily triggered by bacteria. The changed hormonal balance favors the accumulation of bacteria and thus the occurrence of gingivitis.

During this time, it is particularly important to brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly and also to clean the hard-to-reach areas with mouthwashes, tongue scrapers and dental floss in order to counteract the increased risk of gum inflammation.

The level of the hormone progesterone is present and dilates the vessels of the gums and the remaining oral mucosa, so that these become more permeable for products of the caries bacteria. If inflammatory processes occur, which can also lead to an accumulation of pus, a visit to the dentist is advisable to discuss further therapy options.

Illustration gingivitis

Figure gum inflammation: healthy gums (A) and inflamed gums (B) - schematic sectional view

Inflammation of the gums

  1. Tooth enamel -
  2. Gums -
  3. Division point
    of the tooth roots
    (Fork) - Bifurcation
  4. Alveolar bone
    (tooth-bearing part of the
    Jawbone) -
    Pars alveolaris
    (Alveolar process)
  5. Cement -
  6. Root skin - Periodontium
  7. Nerve fibers and blood vessels
  8. Dental plaque
  9. Tartar (calculus)
  10. Inflamed gums -
  11. Pus - Pus

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

Treating gingivitis with pus

Inflammation of the gums should definitely be treated in order to stop the disease from progressing, as otherwise it can have dire consequences in the entire chewing system, such as tooth loss.

If there are already purulent accumulations, the gingivitis is more advanced and a visit to the dentist is urgently recommended.
The dentist will remove the pus, but that doesn't stop the treatment.

You may also be interested in this article: What helps with gingivitis?

Just removing it does not combat the cause that led to the purulent inflammation. If the inflammation were left untreated, it would persist, spread and such foci of pus can develop again in other places.
The most important thing in the treatment of gingivitis is a thorough cleaning of the oral cavity. If a thorough cleaning at home is not enough or if the inflammation is advanced, a professional cleaning is carried out by the dentist. As a result, even hard-to-reach areas are cleaned with various instruments and an ultrasound device in order to remove plaque from the teeth. Finally, a gentle polish is carried out, which makes it difficult for plaque to adhere again.

Read more on the topic: Professional tooth cleaning

Various mouthwashes or ointments can be used to aid cleaning. The ointments in particular counteract inflammation, ensure faster healing and reduce hypersensitivity. They contain different active ingredients such as sage or surface anesthetics (pain relieving ointments such as Dynexan® oral gel). The dentist may also prescribe means that can have the effect of Hydrogen peroxide make use of.

Read more on the topic: Inflammation of the gums - what helps?

Should you puncture a pus yourself?

A pus blister inside or outside the oral cavity should be Not be punctured, as the person concerned does not have any suitable sterile instruments to properly open the hole. Furthermore, there is a risk of spreading bacteria and the risk of the infection spreading. Depending on the location of the pus bladder, this can have serious consequences in the oral cavity or, for example, in the corner of the eye or on the nose. Since there are large blood vessels at these points that have a direct connection to lead structures such as the brain, the spread of the infection there can have life-threatening consequences.

Therefore, a pus bladder may only be opened professionally by the attending doctor or dentist.

Home remedies for gingivitis

Various home remedies can be used to help heal gum inflammation.
These can also be used preventively to prevent the development and thus also counteract an accumulation of pus.

Rinsing with a saline solution has proven effective. It is best to use sea salt and add it to lukewarm water. Rinsing slowly kills the bacteria in the mouth.
Then spit out the prepared solution.

Douches with sage or chamomile are also very popular. To do this, brew a strong tea, preferably with fresh sage leaves from the health food store, and let it steep. Once it has reached a comfortable temperature, you can also use it to rinse your mouth several times a day.

Alternatively, you can dab the inflamed areas with a cotton swab that you previously dipped into the tea. Tea tree, clove and coconut oils have also proven to be effective home remedies. Ginger bulbs can also be purchased cheaply in the supermarket, which you cut into small pieces and remove the peel. Then you put the ginger on the affected area.

Read more on the topic: Home remedies for gum inflammation

Most home remedies are said to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and calming effects, which can thus complement healing. It should be noted that they only support healing, but cannot replace manual, thorough cleaning with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Read more on the topic: Which home remedies work best for gum inflammation?


Many people rely on homeopathy for support in the treatment of inflammation of the gums, the mode of action of which is based on the principle of similarity.

Aconite and belladonna are used for acute gingivitis. Aconite Monkshood is a buttercup that is one of the most poisonous plants in nature.
Belladonna is another name for the deadly nightshade.
It has the potencies D6-D12 and is often used for sudden, severe inflammations such as acute gingivitis. You take one globule of both Aconitum and Belladonna every two hours.

Mercurius solubilis (mercury) and Apis mellifica (honey bee) can also be prescribed. In the case of chronic inflammation of the gums, calcium fluoratum (mineral salt) or luesinum (obtained from the pus of ulcers caused by syphilis) are taken three times a day.

In addition to the intake, other globules can be taken to stop bleeding, such as arnica (medicinal plant).
The intake of the different globules should be discussed with an experienced homeopath and an effect has not yet been clinically proven. They are not enough on their own to combat acute gingivitis, especially if pus has formed.


Pus can appear as a symptom of inflammation of the gums, which is then usually at an advanced stage.

When pressure is applied to the affected area, the pus flows out, which has a specific odor depending on the type of bacteria. If you notice such an accumulation of pus in the oral cavity, you should make an appointment with the dentist and urgently rethink your daily oral hygiene in order to remove the bacteria in the mouth as thoroughly as possible and thus heal the inflammation.