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Should You Be Worried If Your Gums are Swollen?

February 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — bsutterteam @ 8:19 pm
Woman pulling up lip to show swollen gum tissue

You’re brushing your teeth in the bathroom mirror when you happen to take a closer look at your gums and realize that they’re swollen. The question that likely jumps immediately to your mind is, “Should I be worried about this?” It’s important to be aware of what can cause swelling in your gums as well as what your treatment options are. Here’s what you need to know if your gums ever become swollen.

What Causes Gums to Swell?

In many cases, swollen gums are a warning sign of gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease. Gingivitis often occurs as a result of plaque building up on the gums and teeth due to poor oral hygiene. The condition might seem mild at first, but if it isn’t treated quickly, it can turn into periodontitis, which is a leading cause of tooth loss.

Other possible risk factors for swollen gums include:

  • Medications: Certain medicines can cause swelling in the gums as a side effect. Take note of any changes in your mouth that might have occurred after starting your new medication.
  • Poor Nutrition: If there’s not enough vitamin C in your diet, it could lead to gum inflammation.
  • Pregnancy: The hormonal changes that the body experiences during pregnancy can potentially result in swollen and sensitive gums. Furthermore, your immune system may be less capable of fending off harmful bacteria, increasing your risk for gingivitis.

What Can You Do About Swollen Gums?

Your dentist can help you identify the factors that have led to swelling in your gums and develop a treatment plan so that you can find relief. In the meantime, there are a few steps you can take at home:

  • Make any necessary improvements to your oral hygiene routine. Brush thoroughly at least twice a day while paying close attention to the gum line. Don’t forget to floss regularly to remove harmful bacteria and food particles from between your teeth.
  • Maintain a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and other foods that promote healthy gums.
  • Rinse with salt water on a daily basis. Not only can this help reduce swelling, but it can also soothe any discomfort you might be experiencing.
  • Take note of any oral hygiene products that might be irritating your mouth. For example, sometimes your gums might have a negative reaction to certain kinds of toothpaste or mouthwash.
  • Give up smoking as soon as possible. Tobacco is a common culprit for irritated gums and gingivitis.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that if your gums are swollen, you can’t afford to ignore them. Reach out to a dental professional right away to see what steps they recommend taking to address the issue and keep your entire smile healthy.

About the Author

Dr. Ben A. Sutter graduated from the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in 2005. He completed a General Practice Residency at Overlook Hospital in New Jersey. At For Beautiful Smiles in Eugene, he can help his patients find relief from swollen gums with periodontal therapy and other treatments. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sutter, visit his website or call (541) 484-1955.

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