Swelling and pain in the gums can indicate that something is wrong with your oral health, and you should be mindful of that. When it comes to the human body, especially in dental terms, inflammation and pain are the earliest indicators of underlying condition or disease. If you have any other symptoms accompanying your swollen gums, it will be easier for your dentist to identify the problem with your mouth. There can be multiple reasons for soreness in the gums and nearby areas. Learning about them will help you take immediate action that will help minimize the pain. If you find it necessary to visit a dental professional, this prompt measure will stop the condition from spreading further. Below are a few potential causes of inflamed gums.       

Food debris clogged between teeth

Even something small like food particles getting clogged in between teeth can lead to inflamed gums. For most people eating popcorn is one example when they often find hard kernel pieces getting stuck in their teeth or gums. This can irritate the area and cause swelling. 

This soreness doesn’t last for very long and usually goes away when you brush and floss your teeth to get rid of the particles. 

Impacted wisdom tooth

 When it’s time for your third molar to erupt from the gum line, but there is not enough space, it may turn into an impacted wisdom tooth. This can result in gum pain and inflammation, and the soreness may also spread to the neighboring teeth. Oral complications to nearby teeth due to impacted wisdom tooth is a good call for surgical removal.

Here are some symptoms that individuals with impacted third molars can experience. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, it’s best to see your dentist.  

  • Puffy gums
  • Jaw inflammation and pain
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Finding it hard to open mouth

Mouth ulcers

Mouth lesions or canker sores can develop inside your mouth, including the tongue, inner cheeks, and gums. They can appear as red or white spots and can make your mouth swollen and painful. There’s nothing much to worry about, canker sore and mouth ulcers, but they can turn eating and drinking into painful tasks. 

These oral lesions eventually disappear and recover in 10-15 days. But if you still experience swelling in the gums, which isn’t getting better, it’s good to see your doctor or dentist.    

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease that causes redness, soreness, and swelling of the gingiva( area of the gum close to a tooth’s base). Gum disease is a severe oral condition in which the jawbones and gum tissues are damaged by infection. Not brushing and flossing your teeth properly can cause plaque to accumulate close to the gums leading to periodontal disease.

One way to prevent gingivitis from worsening into gum disease is to see your dental professional right away. Professional oral cleaning from your dentist is necessary to remove plaque on teeth; otherwise they can stay hidden deep in the gums and spread oral infection.   

 Cancer therapy

Several side effects are associated with chemotherapy, including canker sores, mouth ulcers, and slight swelling in the mouth. These effects may appear or peak on the seventh day after the treatment. 

Smoking

Chewing or smoking tobacco is never good for your health. Chemicals in tobacco cut down the amount of oxygen present in the bloodstream, obstructing the flow of saliva in the mouth. This creates a favorable environment for bacteria to accumulate plaque and damage your gums.    

Deficiency of Vitamins

If your body is deprived of certain vitamins, you’re likely to experience swollen gums. Vitamin B and vitamin C deficiencies are the most common causes of gum inflammation. If you don’t take a healthy diet and there’s an absence of necessary nutrients, puffy gums for you mean vitamin deficiency. It’s more important for you to consider taking a balanced diet if you’re a senior citizen and often experience oral issues. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables and other food items that are good for your oral and overall health. Adequate vitamins and minerals are the keys to healthy teeth and gums.    

Hormones

Pregnancy can also cause your gums to become swollen and painful. When you’re pregnant, the change in hormones can divert more blood flow to the gums, and they can become tender. Hormonal changes can also make you more prone to oral infections and gingivitis. If you’re pregnant, paying regular visits to your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings becomes more critical to maintaining a healthy mouth. Your doctor can identify any early signs of gingivitis and other oral problems and provide immediate treatment, helping you keep your oral condition in good shape.       

Puberty and menstrual period also bring changes to hormones and lead to swollen and irritated gums. 

 Wrong Brushing and Flossing Techniques

 A good oral hygiene regimen consists of regular brushing and flossing your teeth. But while doing them aggressively, you can end up harming your gums. A good way to avoid it is by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle strokes while brushing your teeth. While flossing between teeth, do it slowly and carefully to prevent hurting your gums. Some toothpaste and mouth rinses can be abrasive on teeth. Switch to milder ones.           

 Hidden dental abscess

A dental abscess or tooth abscess is a pus of white blood cells caused by a bacterial infection. It develops inside the teeth, gums, or bone that keeps the teeth intact. It begins when harmful bacteria seep into the tooth pulp due to cracked tooth or undiscovered tooth decay. Leaving the periodontal abscess untreated can lead to tender gums, and the swelling can spread to other facial areas. 

 Dental Appliances

Sometimes you can induce swollen gums by yourself. Since gums are made of delicate tissues, even minor friction can bruise them. Using a toothbrush with hard bristles and brushing vigorously can hurt the gums and result in inflammation. 

If the wire from your braces becomes loose and starts touching the gums, head to your orthodontist for tightening; otherwise, you may end up with inflamed gums. If your dentures are old and aren’t properly fitting on your gums, they may shift every now and then, causing gum soreness and swelling. Wearing ill-fitted dentures, dental crowns, or other oral appliances can be the culprits.        

How To Treat Swollen Gums

It is easy to get rid of inflamed gums and treat gingivitis. The following preventative measures will help swollen gums go down so you can enjoy a healthy mouth. 

Reducing Gum Swelling

  • Use the correct brushing technique. When brushing your teeth, always use gentle strokes with back and forth motion to prevent damage to the soft tissues surrounding your teeth which can swell the gums. According to dental professionals, it’s best to use a soft-bristled brush to avoid hurting your gums.      
  • Floss slowly and carefully. Food debris stuck between your teeth leads to plaque build-up, causing gum disease and puffy gums. Flossing can help get rid of these food particles. Floss between your teeth slowly and carefully to prevent swollen gums and gently slide it between teeth instead of bringing it   that can injure your soft gums.  
  • Use sensitivity toothpaste. If you have oral sensitivity, instead of regular toothpaste, you can brush your teeth with sensitivity toothpaste. These toothpastes are specifically formulated to treat sensitivity issues and provide you quick relief from the pain and tingling sensation. Keeping your gums healthy is the key to a healthy mouth.   
  • Brush with anti-gingivitis toothpaste. Anti-gingivitis toothpaste is designed to eliminate the plaque around the gum line and treat gingivitis before it worsens to gum disease. Plaque build-up close to the gum line can even weaken your tooth enamel, so it’s best to get rid of it as soon as possible.  
  • Rinse your mouth. After every meal, snack, carbonated drink, or cup of your favorite coffee, don’t forget to thoroughly rinse your mouth, which helps to get rid of food particles and carbohydrates that can lead to plaque build-up, causing gum disease. If nothing else is available, rinsing your mouth with water will do the trick. Otherwise, if you’re at home, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Using anti-bacterial mouthwashes helps remove plaque bacteria and prevents gingivitis.  
  • Eat healthy food. Eating a diet full of nutrients can help you achieve healthy gums and mouth. Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B, C, and calcium, which reduces the chances of having inflamed gums. 
  • De-Stress. Stress and anxiety can disturb your hormones, especially the hormone cortisol, which can cause swollen and puffy gums. Try to make yourself relaxed and happy. You can try different de-stressing techniques, including exercise, taking morning walks, watching a comedy show, talking to a loved one, or doing things outside work that you usually enjoy. 

The good news is that you don’t have to live with inflamed gums since there are numerous ways to treat them.

Consult your dental professional for available treatment options if you’re suffering from swollen gums. Your dentist can diagnose the exact cause of your gum inflammation and guide appropriate treatment and care.

You don’t have to worry too much as several home treatments help with gum swelling.  

5 Effective Swollen Gums Home Remedies:

Try one of these home remedies to heal swollen gums:

Saltwater

Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help relieve swelling in the gums and speeds up healing. 

How to use:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt into a half-filled cup of warm water
  • Swish the solution inside your mouth for around 30 seconds, and then spit
  • Do this multiple times a day till gum inflammation goes down 

 Warm and cold compresses

Cold and warm compresses can soothe soreness and inflammation in the gums. 

How to use:

  • Place the warm cloth outside the mouth for 5 minutes 
  • Next, take a cold pack or ice cubes wrapped in a towel and hold it outside the swelling for 5 minutes
  • Repeat this warm and cold therapy alternatively 2-3 times
  • Do this two times or more for the first two days after finding you have gum inflammation. 

Aloe vera

According to research, aloe vera mouthwash depicts the properties of chlorhexidine which is a prescription treatment to cure and prevent gingivitis. 

How to use:

  • Take 2 teaspoons of aloe vera mouth and switch around your mouth
  • Spit the solution
  • Repeat two times a day till the inflammation recedes  

Essential oils

A study suggests that tea tree, peppermint, and thyme oil can effectively reduce the growth of microorganisms that cause oral disease. 

How to use:

  • Add 3 drops of essential oil of your choice to 8 ounces of lukewarm water
  • Switch the solution in your mouth for at at least 30 seconds
  • Spit out the mixture and make sure not to swallow it
  • Repeat two times a day until swelling minimizes 

Turmeric gel

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

How to use:

  • Brush your teeth and thoroughly rinse your mouth
  • Take a drop of turmeric gel on your fingertip and apply it to gums
  • Let the gel sit for at least 10 minutes
  • Wash the mouth with water to remove the gel
  • Repeat two times a day till inflammation fades 

Receive Expert Dental Care

If your gums are sore and swollen and you’ve tried a couple of home remedies to get rid of the pain, but nothing seems to work, it’s time to head to your nearest dentist. General dentists at Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics can diagnose your gum problem and provide appropriate treatment. Our dentists have years of experience providing out-class dental services. Offering a full range of orthodontic, pediatric, endodontics, and family dentistry services so you and your loved ones can enjoy healthy teeth and gums. Whether you need gum treatment, teeth whitening, or regular dental cleaning sessions, schedule an appointment with our location that’s easily accessible to you. With over 35+ dental offices in Colorado and Texas, we are a one-stop solution for your complete dentistry needs.