What to do about swollen gums

Swollen gums could be caused by gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.

If you have noticed that your gums are swollen, you might be wondering what could be causing the issue. Swelling of the gums is actually a common problem and can be caused by a number of factors. The good news is that, in most cases, the issue is easily resolved if it is identified early — read on to find out about some of the signs of gum swelling, the possible causes, and what you can do about the problem…

What are the signs of gum swelling?

You might notice that your gums feel swollen after you have finished brushing and flossing your teeth or when you have eaten something particularly hard or crunchy. Along with swelling, your gums might appear red and feel sensitive or tender. Other symptoms that are often associated with swollen gums include persistently bad breath, redeciding gums and mouth sores. If you have noticed any of these symptoms, it is a good idea that you consult with your dentist, as they could indicate an underlying oral health issue.

What causes swollen gums?

The most common cause of swollen gums is the build-up of plaque on the teeth and gums. When plaque is left to accumulate, it can lead to gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Some of the most common symptoms of gingivitis include swollen, tender, red, and bleeding gums.

You might also notice that your gums begin to swell if you use a new toothpaste or mouthwash — this could indicate an adverse reaction to the product. Also, certain medications can cause swollen gums, in which case you should let your doctor know.

Swollen and inflamed gums often occur during pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes. In fact, a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis is fairly common. If you experience this issue, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist.

What can you do about swollen gums?

In most cases, swollen gums can be resolved with improved oral hygiene. It’s important that you establish a healthy oral hygiene routine that includes regular brushing and flossing. Your gum health is also likely to benefit from a balanced diet — try to limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks that contribute to the build-up of plaque, and eat plenty of whole, nutrient-rich foods instead.

If you experience swollen gums or any other symptoms that are causing you discomfort or concern, it is advisable that you see your dentist. Often, a thorough dental clean can help to reverse the effects of gingivitis and alleviate symptoms. If left untreated, gum disease can become a serious problem so you must seek treatment as soon as possible.

Can you prevent swollen gums?

The best way to prevent swollen gums altogether is to keep your mouth clean and free from plaque build-up. It is best to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. If you can, brush and floss after meals to get rid of food particles and other debris.

Even with good oral hygiene habits, plaque can accumulate in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. For this reason, it’s a good idea to see your dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleans. It will ensure that any tartar is removed and help keep swollen gums and other issues at bay.

How can we help?

At Mornington Peninsula Dental Clinic, we offer a comprehensive range of general and preventative dentistry services, including treatments for gum disease. If it’s been a while since your last check-up, or you have a specific concern that you would like addressed, we encourage you to come in and see us.

To find out more about the range of treatments that we offer, please have a look here.

To make an appointment, please get in touch here or give us a call at (03) 5975 5944.

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