Why Are My Gums Swollen? How To Treat & Prevent Swelling?

By Girish Bharwani

Swollen gums are a common dental concern that can cause discomfort and affect your oral health. Understanding the reasons behind gum swelling and the appropriate measures to treat and prevent it is crucial for maintaining a healthy mouth.

What Swollen Gums Mean

Swollen gums are typically a sign of inflammation, often caused by the accumulation of plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—on your teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it can irritate your gum tissue, leading to swelling, redness, and sometimes bleeding during brushing or flossing. This condition, if left unchecked, can progress to more serious forms of gum disease, potentially affecting your overall dental health and leading to tooth loss.

What Do They Look Like?

Swollen gums tend to look red and feel puffy or engorged compared to healthy gums. They may protrude more than usual and can be sensitive or painful to touch. In some cases, you might notice that your gums bleed more easily, especially when you’re brushing your teeth or eating hard food.

Swollen Gums Symptoms & Causes

Swollen Gums Woman - GBDentistry   Swollen Gums - GBDentistry

What Causes Swollen Gums

The most common cause of swollen gums is the buildup of plaque at the gumline. This plaque harbors bacteria that produce toxins, which can irritate and inflame the gums. Other contributing factors include:

Some Dental Causes:

  • Inadequate oral hygiene practices
  • Development of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease
  • Progression to periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease
  • Decay of the adjacent teeth
  • Teeth that are not aligned properly
  • Dental restorations that do not fit correctly

Some Other Causes:

  • Changes in hormones, such as those occurring during pregnancy
  • Certain medications that reduce saliva flow
  • Deficiencies in essential nutrients
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Use of tobacco products

Treating Swollen Gums

How We Treat Swollen Gums at GB Dentistry

At GB Dentistry, we approach the treatment of swollen gums with a personalized plan tailored to each patient’s specific needs. After a thorough examination to identify the cause of the swelling, we may recommend treatments such as:

  • A professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar
  • Scaling and root planing for more advanced cases of gum disease
  • Prescription of antibiotics if an infection is present
  • Adjustment or replacement of dental restorations that contribute to the problem

Dr. Bharwani also provides detailed information on the causes of gum swelling and the treatments available, emphasizing the importance of ongoing care and maintenance to prevent future issues.

Home Remedies and Relief for Swollen Gums

While professional treatment is essential, there are several home remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of swollen gums:

  • Rinsing your mouth with a saltwater solution to reduce inflammation
  • Applying a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to relieve pain
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to manage discomfort
  • Ensuring proper nutrition and hydration to support overall gum health

Does Swelling in Gums Go Away?

Yes, gum swelling can subside with appropriate treatment. It’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent further complications. Professional dental care is crucial in treating the underlying causes of swollen gums and ensuring the problem does not recur.

When It’s Time To Call A Dentist

You should contact your dentist in Memorial if the swelling lasts longer than a week, if it’s accompanied by severe pain, or if over-the-counter medications do not provide relief. These could be signs of a more serious condition that requires professional attention.

What To Ask Your Dentist

When visiting your dentist, consider asking questions such as:

  • What is the likely cause of my gum swelling?
  • What treatment options are available for my condition?
  • How can I prevent gum swelling in the future?

Other Common Questions

Why is the gum around one of my teeth swollen?

The gum around a single tooth may become swollen due to a localized infection, such as an abscess, or because of food particles trapped between the tooth and gum, causing irritation.

Do braces cause swollen gums?

Braces can lead to swollen gums if they trap food and plaque, making it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene. It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for cleaning around braces to prevent gum issues.

Dr. Bharwani’s Opinion

In my professional experience, addressing gum swelling early is the key to maintaining not only oral health but also overall health. Ignoring swollen gums can lead to more serious dental problems and negatively impact your quality of life. Regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene are the best defenses against gum swelling.

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