Swollen Gums? Here’s what you can do

Swollen Gums? Here’s what you can do

There are loads of reasons people suffer from sore, uncomfortable and swollen gums. Gums are very sensitive. They are the pinkish, red fleshy parts inside of our mouths through which our teeth protrude. Gums are important when it comes to oral health. Our gums are made of firm tissue. The tissue, which is filled with blood vessels, covers your jaw bone. When this tissue feels loose or soft, and tender, you need to see a dentist or oral health expert. 

As mentioned above, our gums are full of blood vessels that carry oxygen and food to the roots of the teeth and other connecting parts of the mouth, explains Personal Care. You have to take care of your gums as part of your oral hygiene routine or they can get infected which leads to loads of other diseases and nasty conditions. Swelling in any part of the body is cause for concern and a red flag that something is going on and needs to be addressed. Swollen gums are no exception. Treating the condition early on and reversing it as soon as possible is the best way to prevent the advancement of other serious diseases like periodontitis (gum disease), a condition that causes tooth loss.

Having dental insurance like Affinity Dental can really save you money when getting check-ups and dental interventions. It can also give you peace of mind to know you can get oral health assistance at any time. 

Serious conditions

Gum problems have the potential to progress into a very serious condition and even affect the rest of the body’s organs. 

Poor oral hygiene and gum disease has been linked to heart conditions, stomach and digestive problems as well as diabetes and other conditions. 

There are signs that may raise concerns:

  • Bad breath, 
  • change in tooth positioning, 
  • long or loosened teeth and tension in a specific gum area are signs of gum problems. 
  • Tooth loss is possible if the inflammation is not addressed in time. 

Gingival swelling is another name for swollen gums. Your gums will tend to feel irritated, sensitive or painful. They may also bleed when your brush or floss your teeth. 

There are other causes for problematic gums.

Gingivitis

This is the most common cause of swollen gums. Gingivitis is a gum disease where your gums become irritated. The symptoms are mild and often unnoticeable. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis and even tooth loss. 

This gum disease is a result of poor oral hygiene. Plaque builds up on the gum line and teeth. The plaque will become tartar if it remains on your teeth too long. The tartar build-up can progress into gingivitis. This is when a dental professional should be contacted. 

Pregnancy and Swollen gums

Being pregnant can cause swollen gums. The hormones of a pregnant woman may increase blood flow in the gums. The increased blood flow can lead to irritation and swelling of the gums. 

Hormonal changes also restrict the body from fighting off bacteria. The bacteria can cause gum infections and progress into gingivitis. 

Malnutrition

A lack of vitamins can result in swollen gums. Vitamin C repairs and maintains your teeth and gums. Without Vitamin C, you can develop scurvy. Scurvy causes anaemia and gum disease. 

Malnutrition is uncommon. It is often seen in older adults. 

Infection

Fungi and viral infections have the potential to cause swollen gums. Herpes can lead to acute herpetic gingivostomatitis. This results in swollen gums. 

A thrush infection is an overgrowth of naturally occurring yeast in the mouth. Thrush can lead to gum swelling, as well as a dental abscess. 

How do you treat swollen gums?

Speak to your dentist if your gums are swollen for more than two weeks. The dentist will ask certain questions about your symptoms. The questions will include whether you are pregnant or if there have been any changes in your diet. A full mouth dental X-ray and blood tests may be necessary. The blood tests will check for any infections. 

The cause of your swollen gums may require a prescribed oral rinse. The rinse will help to prevent gingivitis and reduce plaque. A specific brand of toothpaste may also be recommended, as well as antibiotics. 

An extreme case of gingivitis can result in surgery. A common treatment option is scaling and rootplaning. The procedure includes scraping away diseased gums, dental plaque, calculus and tartar on the teeth roots. This will assist the remaining gums to heal. 

Home remedies for Swollen gums

According to Healthline, swollen gums must be treated with care at home. Swollen gums can be soothed by being brushed or flossed gently. Rinse your mouth with salt water to kill bacteria. 

Drinking water stimulates saliva production and prevents diseases that cause bacteria in the mouth. Avoid strong mouthwashes, alcohol and tobacco. These are noticed as gum irritants. 

A warm compress can lessen gum pain if placed over your face. A cold compress decreases swelling. 

Eating foods like popcorn can get lodged in your teeth. This can become problematic and result in swollen gums. Sugary drinks and foods should be avoided too. Add fruits and vegetables to your diet. A balanced diet will make sure that you prevent any gum problems. 

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth is essential. Every six months, visit your dentist for a cleaning. Plaque and tartar build-up is a result of dry mouth. Mouthwashes and kinds of toothpaste can help this condition. Speak to your dentist to advise you on which ones to use. 

Affinity Dental has three tiers of dental insurance. Each option is available at a different price point to allow everyone to be able to afford the cover that they need. Each tier also covers specific specialist work to various degrees. 

Dental insurance covers you for any additional treatments such as crowns, root canals or fillings, whether at the dentist or specialist practice. 

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