Swollen gums

The gums are important to overall oral health. The gums are composed of firm, pink tissue that covers the bones of the jaw which is thick, fibrous and full of blood vessels. Swollen gums protrude or bulge out. In most cases, the swelling starts when the gums start to hide some areas of the teeth and become red instead of its normal pinkish appearance.

Swollen gums are also called gingival swelling and can become irritated, sensitive and painful. The gums bleed easily when brushing or flossing the teeth.

Causes

  • Incorrect technique in brushing or flossing. Swollen gums can be due to poor oral hygiene where there is accumulation of plaque between the teeth and the gum line.
  • Diseases of the gum such as gingivitis and periodontitis which is a more serious condition that can result to loss of a tooth.
  • Mouth ulcers that develop on the gums can cause swelling and pain.
  • Side effects of chemotherapy that causes painful, bleeding and swollen gums.
  • Smoking and using other tobacco products
    Swollen gums

    Swollen gums are also called gingival swelling and can become irritated, sensitive and painful.

  • Increased level of hormones during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause which results to an increased flow of blood to the gums.

Treatment

  • Brush the top chewing surfaces, the front and the back of the teeth that is near the tongue to minimize the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and also help prevent gum disease.
  • Use a soft nylon-bristle toothbrush in brushing the teeth to prevent the condition from getting worse. Avoid using a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles since it can lead to swollen gums and also erode or scratch the tooth enamel.
  • Use gum-protecting toothpaste which helps prevent gingivitis. Floss between the teeth at least once every day to remove plaque that the toothbrush cannot reach. Avoid flossing excessively to help prevent irritation of the gums.
  • Rinse the mouth using pure water or saltwater solution. Salt has antibacterial properties that helps eliminate contaminants and relaxes the swollen gums. Prepare a salt water solution by dissolving a teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water and mix them until salt is completely dissolved. Swish it around the areas of the mouth, between the teeth, until it is spread to the gums. Avoid swallowing the saltwater solution.
  • Another way of rinsing the mouth is mixing water and fresh lemon juice. Swish the mixture around the mouth for at least 30 seconds.
  • Apply a warm compress on the affected gums to help lessen the pain. Soak a clean face cloth in warm water, wring out excess water and then place the face cloth against the face until pain is lessened.
  • A cold compress helps lessen the swelling. Wrap a few ice cubes in a piece of cloth and then place against the face until swelling is minimized and the affected area becomes slightly numb.
  • Drink plenty of water to help flush out residue of foods and bacteria from the mouth as well as minimizing the development of plaque.

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