Diseases

What to do about swollen gums?

Swollen gums are a commonly occurring issue, and can have a range of different reasons. Anyone suffering from gum swelling lasting longer than a few days should contact their dental specialist. While waiting for the appointment, there may be a few things one can do in order to reduce the intensity of the discomfort and swelling.

Possible Causes

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are some common causes of gum swelling that may fit the conditions:

  • Medications

Sometimes when we have recently started taking medication, the swollen gums may actually be a side effect of the medicine. Speak to the doctor about the side effects of the medicine, and ask for an alternative.

  • Brand switch

Changing one’s brand of mouthwash or toothpaste may also cause a reaction to one of the ingredients inside the product.

  • Poor nutrition

Deficiency of Vitamin C in specific may cause swollen gums, so not including eating fruits and vegetables in the diet may be the actual culprit.

  • Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the main reason of inflamed gums. Lack of brushing and flossing properly may be the reason.

There can be many other possible reasons and contributors for gum swelling, so discussing the symptoms with a dentist is the ideal way of getting a precise and comprehensive diagnosis.

Solution

There are a few things one can do, and a few things one should avoid doing, in order to alleviate the inflammation and reduce the swelling in the gums, as according to the American Dental Association.

Do:

  • Make sure to brush and floss teeth on regular basis. If the actual cause of the swollen gums is gingivitis, then good oral hygiene is a good start towards recovery.
  • Improve the diet. Include more fruits and vegetables in the diet, and refrain from using caffeinated drinks and sodas for a while.
  • Rinse the mouth using salt-diluted water, which can reduce the pain of swollen gums.

Don’t:

  • Don’t keep using toothpastes and mouthwashes that cause irritation to the gums. Mouthwash that contains alcohol may agitate swollen gums. It is best to change the toothpaste if one finds it is causing further harm and discomfort.
  • Don’t use tobacco and alcohol, as both these substances can aggravate the condition of the gums even further.
  • Don’t ignore the issue. Start taking steps to help reduction in the inflammation, and consult a dental expert to make sure the swelling in the gums is not a symptom of something more serious.

Importance of Seeing a Dentist

In addition to regular and proper brushing and flossing, it’s important to see a dentist as often as one need to. Patients with higher risk may need to go more regularly, while patients that are not prone to high degree of risk may benefit from fewer trips. The dentist can examine the gums and then suggest how often one needs to go for their individual situation.

While seeing a dentist, one should get a proper cleaning, which would help diminish buildup of plaque. Also, the dentist can identify early symptoms of gum inflammation, whether it’s lack of proper brushing and flossing, or if there is something more serious going on that needs treatment.

How a Periodontist Can Help

A periodontist is a dental expert with the expertise in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease takes in hand the structures that frame the teeth, including the gums and the bone they are attached to. A periodontist will be able to examine the swollen gums carefully, establish the cause, and provide effective treatment.

Swollen gums are not the end of the world, but they may be the start of something worrisome, such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. So taking care of gums and having them checked for any concern should be the right course of action.

Tom Brendon

Tom Brendon has completed his nutrition undergrad in the UK and received his Master's degree from Canada in health education and specializes in human health and pediatrics. He began his career as a writer for Nutritionline in 2014 and Authority Health in 2016. He has considerable research experience and currently writes nutrition and health articles for general readership. He enjoys outdoor activities, snowboarding and spending quality time with family and friends.

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