Medical

Swollen gums? Know when symptoms are severe and what to do.

What are the causes of swollen gums if you know to take good care of your teeth? And who should worry if their gums are swollen or a little red? Swollen gums are more than an uncomfortable annoyance; they could indicate something more serious, such as inflamed gum. Don’t underestimate a gum problem. Causes of swollen gums can be very diverse. Take action in a time before it gets worse. You will forever thank us for this tip!

A healthy gum is a healthy body.

Blood arteries all over the gums bring oxygen and food to the roots of the teeth and other parts of the mouth that connect to them. So, if you want good mouth health, you need to take care of your gums.

It is not normal for any part of the body to swell up. This is a red flag that something is wrong and needs to be taken care of.

Detecting swollen gums early and curing them as quickly as possible is the best way to prevent the development of other serious conditions, such as Gum disease called periodontitis, which results in tooth loss.

Symptoms of swollen gums

How can you recognize the difference between healthy gum tissue and swollen gums? The most important thing is that you know what healthy gums look like and that you can identify the areas where inflammation develops.

Healthy gums

  • Pale pink, coral, or natural tissue pigmentation throughout the mouth
  • Smooth and flat along the gum lines
  • Pointed papillae (small projections) between each tooth
  • Doesn’t bleed when you brush or floss
  • No pain

Swollen gums

  • Typically dark pink, red, blue, or purple
  • Rolled edge along the teeth
  • Broken papilla between the teeth, or no papilla at all (black triangle)
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Uncomfortable to severe pain

What Causes Swollen Gums?

Bacterial buildup is the main cause of most gum swelling. That white, filmy debris that builds up along your gum lines and on the surface of your teeth causes cavities and gum disease.

That’s because plaque builds up along the edge of the gum lines and also starts to creep under the gum pocket, infecting the gums from the inside out.

Swollen gums are not only caused by gingivitis. Here are 10 other culprits that can cause swollen, sore gums:

1.      Incorrect brushing and flossing techniques

Most of us know that poor oral hygiene is a common cause of swollen gums. But improper brushing or flossing techniques, such as flossing your teeth too roughly, can also cause swelling.

2.      Oral infections

Both viruses and fungi can hurt your mouth health and make your gums swell up and feel sore. In addition, attacks of STDs such as herpes or oral thrush (oral candidiasis) can also cause gum swelling if not treated immediately.

3.      Hormonal changes

The change in hormone levels can also cause swollen gums. This is common during pregnancy, menstruation, puberty, or menopause when your body is going through various changes. This can also increase blood flow to your gums, making them softer and easily irritated.

4.      Ulcers in the mouth

Sores in the mouth can cause sore gums. Most of the time, these spots have a white center and red edges. However, if you already have an autoimmune disease, you’re more likely to develop sores that cause swollen gums.

5.      Malnutrition/vitamin deficiency

In general, oral health is more dependent on the availability of vitamins and minerals, especially those of B vitamins and vitamin C. When there is an acute deficiency of vitamin C, it causes scurvy, which leads to anemia and gum disease. Malnutrition thus becomes a cause of swollen gums.

6.      Irritation

The gum tissue can become irritated, red, or swollen if it has an allergic reaction to something in toothpaste, food, medicine, or even metal dental fillings.

7.      Food

Getting food out from under the gums or between the teeth can be hard, especially if it happens often during the day.

8.      Burns

Foods like pizza, nachos, and coffee can burn your mouth and cause short-term damage. Most of the time, these only last 10–14 days and are caused by the food’s heat on the gum tissue.

9.      Braces or bad dental restorations

When undergoing dental restorations, if rough edges are found along the edges of the restorative materials, they provide ample space for plaque to build up and are not easily cleaned. These spots get very infected and are always swollen, which makes your gums swell.

Poorly fitting dentures or partial dentures can also rub against the tissues and cause sores or swelling.

10.  Wrong position of the teeth

If you don’t get a malformed tooth fixed, it can become a very serious problem that affects your oral health with frequent infections that cause your lips to swell.

How are swollen gums treated?

Plaque and tartar removal is the best way to treat swollen, sore gums. Regular tooth cleaning and filling and other procedures such as scaling, sealing, and root planing can stop gingivitis and reverse the effects of gingivitis. If you suffer from more advanced gum disease, your dentist may advise you to continue treating swollen and bleeding gums.

How can you prevent swollen gums?

Take the steps below to keep your gums from getting swollen so you don’t have to deal with the pain that comes with it.

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once will help you keep your mouth clean and stop your gums from swelling.

Have a healthy and balanced diet.

Maintaining healthy levels of vitamins B and C, folic acid, and calcium is especially important. In addition, you can simply include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet and take supplemental vitamins to promote stronger teeth and healthier gums.

Drink a lot of water.

Drink a lot of water, especially after you eat, because it helps get rid of food particles and germs in your mouth and makes it less likely that plaque will build up there.

Reduce stress and sleep well.

Stress affects your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight off germs, which can be bad for your teeth.

Have your teeth checked regularly.

Visit your doctor often to make sure everything is fine and that you don’t need any treatment. See a dentist in Arlington, VA, if your gum problems hurt too much or keep coming back. Your dentist can not only find out what is causing your swollen gums, but he can also make your gum problems heal faster.

When to see a dentist or dental hygienist if you have swollen gums?

Call your dentist or dental hygienist and make an appointment if you have sore or swollen gums.

You can prevent inflamed gums. Regularly visit the dentist or dental hygienist for check-ups to prevent further complications. In addition, good oral hygiene can help prevent your gums from getting further inflamed.

Our advice is always: brush at least twice a day and floss once a day!

If your gums are bothering you and they are also swollen, it could be due to your brushing technique. We were told to brush our teeth properly and often from an early age. While good oral hygiene is essential to keep our teeth healthy, going too hard can be harmful.

Perhaps no one taught you how to brush your teeth properly. Is there actually a bad or good method? This question cannot be answered with an unequivocal yes or no. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist about the best brushing technique for you and with which type of toothbrush.

Don’t forget that the gums are a lot more sensitive, and brushing incorrectly can cause irritated gums, which can lead to gum disease.

A gentle, circular motion that massages the gums and cleans your teeth is much more effective and works better than the hard back-and-forth motion. The back-and-forth motion or horizontal brushing not only causes gum irritation that causes the gums to swell but can also damage the tooth enamel and possibly lead to receding gums.

The way in which you brush your teeth is therefore extremely important, but where is your brushing technique without good tools, i.e., the toothbrush? As you know, dozens of toothbrushes are on the market with different heads and extra soft, soft, medium, or hard bristles. Using a soft or medium bristle brush for both the hand and an electric toothbrush will help prevent gum damage, swelling, or even soreness.

If you are unsure whether you use the correct brushing method, do not hesitate to ask your dental hygienist or dentist for instructions!

Swollen Gums and Flossing Techniques

Some of us are more adept at flossing than others, but again, it’s important to do it on a daily basis. Flossing isn’t on the “oh, another thing I can’t forget” list, but it’s an act that should be done before brushing your teeth to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. In addition, flossing helps remove food particles stuck in a difficult spot that, if left there, can serve as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

By flossing, you not only remove the hard-to-remove food particles, but you also massage the gums at the same time. Using the correct flossing technique is important, especially to prevent the gums from becoming swollen. While you need to apply a little more pressure to remove the food particles between your teeth, you need to use less pressure when massaging your gums.

Never force the floss between your teeth, but it is better to gently insert it between your teeth to just below the gum line and then gently pull the floss in a back-and-forth motion to the cutting or chewing surface of the tooth or choose.

Ask your dental hygienist or dentist for advice and instructions on the use of dental floss, stokers, and brushes.

Gum disease

You happen to look in the mirror and wonder, “Why are my gums swollen ?” Even if you think you’re doing everything by the book, sore gums can be a symptom of gum disease. If you take this to your dental hygienist or dentist, he/she may find that you have periodontal disease (or gum disease ). What does this mean? The answer depends on the severity of your gum disease.

Many people suffer from gingivitis, which is a less serious form of gum disease if treated early, but still causes inflamed gums. In the early stages of gingivitis, the gums are not painful despite being inflamed.

A more serious form of gum disease is periodontitis, where the teeth can even become loose and fall out. Periodontitis is the result of untreated gingivitis.

Proper oral hygiene can help prevent and even stop gum disease, but it is always advisable to tell your dentist or dental hygienist if you have loose or moving teeth, receding gums, bad breath, or swollen gums that are red and painful.

Swollen Gums and Canker sores

Do you maintain a good brushing and flossing routine and complain that “your gums are still swollen!” Then take a look at your gum line. Do you see white blisters? It may surprise you, but it is possible to get canker sores even on your gums and not just in your oral cavity or on your tongue.

Canker sores are annoying and painful but not contagious.

Tips to Prevent Painful, Swollen, and Bleeding Gums

Everyone suffers from swollen gums occasionally, but you don’t have to walk around with sore gums. You can do something about this at home.

Now wondering how to treat swollen gums or reduce the swelling? Then read on:

Brush at least 2x a day

The best thing to do would be to brush your teeth after every meal or snack, but that’s not always possible. At the very least, you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes after breakfast and before bed to clean them well and try to keep your gums from getting swollen. Do not forget to apply the correct brushing method.

Floss daily

If you happen to be one of those people who only pick up the floss because you remember you should, then you’re not entirely wrong, but it would be better if flossing became a daily habit. Just take a few extra minutes to perform your daily oral hygiene routine that will keep swollen gums at bay.

Rinse daily with mouthwash.

It is also recommended to rinse your mouth daily with an antiseptic mouthwash. An antiseptic mouthwash prevents the growth of microorganisms. However, too many harmful bacteria can lead to gum disease. Most mouthwashes on the market contain alcohol. If you are sensitive to alcohol or prefer to use an alcohol-free mouthwash, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist.

Have a Balanced Diet

If you are wondering how to reduce gum swelling, a balanced diet is one of the simplest ways to prevent swollen gums. You will therefore receive several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which is especially good for having healthy gums.

This vitamin strengthens the gums and soft tissue in your mouth. It also protects against gum disease. Don’t want to eat only citrus fruits? Then you can also put potatoes and green leafy vegetables on the menu because they are also packed with vitamin C.

Drink enough water

It is always hammered how important it is to drink enough water during the day. Increasing the amount is advisable if you are not at the recommended amount of 6 to 8 glasses daily. Drinking water helps flush out the food particles between your teeth and increases saliva production for a healthy mouth.

Say No to Smoking

Want to get rid of swollen gums? Ban the smoking habit. It’s never too late to stop. Cigarettes reduce blood flow in your gums and lower vitamin C levels.

Be careful with hot or iced drinks.

If you suffer from swollen gums, eating and drinking that is too hot or too cold can be a painful affair. So until you find a remedy that takes the sensitivity away, try to eat your food and drinks lukewarmly.

Take enough rest

Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed for an extended period of time, you seem to be aching all over, and you are a lot stiffer and stiffer than you normally are? This is due to a disturbance in the balance between the flight hormone adrenaline and the adrenal cortex hormone cortisol. If the body is constantly in a state of high alert, cortisol is produced to steer the body’s processes back in the right direction. If the stress lasts longer, the body will lack cortisol, which works as an anti-inflammatory, among other things, resulting in an inflammatory response that causes pain. That is why taking a rest is also a remedy for swollen gums.

Turmeric

This herb has, among other things, an anti-inflammatory property. That is why it is very effective against swollen gums. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder with a small amount of water to create a paste, apply the paste to the gums, allow it to seep in for five minutes, and then massage your gums with this mixture for approximately one minute. Rinse your mouth with tepid water twice per day for a period of one to two weeks.

Important: Always wash your hands before putting anything in your mouth. If the gums are still swollen after two weeks, then make an appointment with your dentist.

Hydrogen peroxide

Another effective remedy for swollen gums is hydrogen peroxide. You probably already have this liquid in your medicine cabinet. Use a 3% solution (and definitely not stronger), mix 3% hydrogen peroxide in equal parts with water, and use it to rinse your mouth for 30 seconds. Spit it out and rinse it with warm water.

You can also use 1 teaspoon of baking soda to make hydrogen peroxide (3%) paste. Rub the paste on your gums and rinse your mouth with water after 1 minute.

You can repeat both treatments 2 to 3 times a week.

Important:  always be careful when using hydrogen peroxide,  NEVER use a higher percentage than 3%, and  NEVER swallow the solution/paste.

Salt water solution

An even simpler remedy and also extremely effective is a saltwater solution. Try to use sea salt if possible. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and rinse your mouth twice a day.

You can also rub your gums with salt after brushing your daily teeth. Do not leave it on your gums for more than a few seconds, then rinse with lukewarm water and use this remedy all once a day. This remedy can also be used as a preventative measure after your gums have fully healed.

Hot and Cold Compresses

A warm alternating with a cold compress can provide a lot of relief for swollen and painful gums. Dip a clean washcloth in warm water, wring it out, and hold it against your cheek for 5 minutes. Then alternate with a washcloth of ice cubes. Hold the compress against your cheek until you feel a slight numbness.

Repeat this hot/cold cycle 2 to 3 times. Never place the compresses directly on the gums. Always on the outside, against your cheek.

Black Tea Bags

The tannins in black tea are known for their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Dip a black tea bag in boiling water as you would brew tea. Remove the bag and let it cool until it is warm (so no longer hot). Place the tea bag against the gums and let it sit there for about 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution as described above. Perform this treatment once a day for about three to five days.

Aloe Vera

If you do not have an aloe vera plant at home, it may be time to acquire one. Carefully remove an aloe leaf and slit it open to extract the gel. Massage the gel into your gums for a few minutes before rinsing with tepid water. You can repeat this multiple times per day until you notice an improvement.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree is an aromatic oil that can be used for various purposes because it has several important properties. It works, among other things, anti-inflammatory. You can dissolve a few drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash.

Oil-pulling

Oil-pulling is increasing in popularity and is an excellent home remedy for good oral care. You can use cold-pressed sesame, coconut, or olive oil for this. Take 1 tablespoon of one of the oils and swish it around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes, then spit it out. Never swallow it. Then rinse your mouth with warm water. Do this once a day.

The cold-pressed oil binds harmful substances and bacteria, which is good for oral hygiene, but also benefits the entire body.

Vitamin C in D

Just as vitamin C is essential for gum health, getting enough vitamin D is also important. Try to get enough sunlight, and add foods like salmon, egg, and sunflower seeds to your menu.

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