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One spot in my gums has been sore the last couple of days. I've been to the dentist only two months ago and everything was just fine. I can't really see anything in there, but it doesn't look to me like anything is red or swollen. I've been gargling with warm salt water at night and also with mouthwash, and it's not much better. I would like to avoid going back to a dentist. A pharmacist gave me antibiotics to take today (lincomycini hydrochloridum), but whatever they usually give me almost always doesn't work, so I wanted to check in here and see if you have any suggestions. Thanks
Thanks for your question, Swollen and/or painful gums generally result from a problem with the gum immediately adjacent to the teeth. For young people the inflammation is usually limited to gums only and is called gingivitis. In older people this worsens to a condition called chronic periodontitis involving the teeth as well as gum and which may cause teeth to be lost. Regular scaling and flossing plus twice daily brushing with a fluoride containing toothpaste is still the best way to ensure healthy gums and prevent gingivitis. Be sure to brush correctly with downward motion for upper teeth and upward motion for lower teeth. This helps to keep the gum covering the base of the tooth. Chronic periodontitis requires more complex treatment such as scaling, periodontal curretage (a treatment that puts inflamed tissues between gums or teeth under anesthesia and then scrapes them out with a tool) and after the surgery, regular examination and dental care are also necessary. Scaling and proper brushing is a much better cure than any other medicine or food. Once healthy gums are restored, try to take vitamin C or foods that contain lots of vitamin C. Where is the painful spot on your gum - is it next to a tooth or distant? If near a tooth consider the above and see a dentist if it seems like more than a simple gingivitis from over enthusiastic brushing of teeth. If the site of pain is distant from your teeth, the commonest cause for acute gum pain is minor trauma from a toothbrush or other object/hard food item placed in the mouth. This should resolve within a few days. Gargles with salt water, aspirin or a mouth wash can all help. If you have a chronic problem with painful gum unrelated to your teeth, you should see a doctor or dentist to exclude serious problems that can arise in the mouth. Hope this helps. (This answer contributed by Dr Sue McGladdery of the International SOS Clinic - tel 937 5760)
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