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What to Do with Swollen Gums

Teeth are usually the name of the game when it comes to oral health. Unless there are issues, many people don’t think twice about their gums. Yet, gums are a crucial part of your oral health. In fact, healthy gums are the foundation of a beautiful smile and strong teeth. However, if you notice that your gums appear swollen or puffy, it could be a sign of an underlying issue. 

With quick treatment, you can improve your oral health and get rid of swollen gums. Talk to your dentist before you suffer any more damage.  

What to Do with Swollen Gums

Recognizing Swollen Gums

Swollen gums, also known as gingival swelling, refer to an abnormal puffiness of the gum tissue. Along with swelling, you may notice other common signs. These can include redness or tenderness. Also, you may see mild bleeding during brushing or flossing. If you notice these issues, you should visit your dentist as soon as you can. 

Causes of Swollen Gums

Once you talk to your dentist, they will help you figure out the root of your problem. 

Gingivitis: The most common cause of swollen gums is gingivitis. This is an early stage of gum disease. Poor oral hygiene leads to plaque buildup, a sticky film containing bacteria. This can build along the gumline, causing inflammation and swelling of the gums.

Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations can make gums more sensitive and prone to swelling. For example, you may experience a change in hormones during pregnancy or puberty. 

Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can allow plaque and bacteria to accumulate. This is one of the more common factors in swollen gums. 

Infection or Abscess: Bacterial infections in the gums can cause localized swelling and pain. Additionally, you may see the formation of a pus-filled pocket known as an abscess.

Ill-Fitting Dental Restorations: Dental appliances or restorations that don’t fit properly can irritate the gums, resulting in swelling and discomfort. It is important to talk to your dentist before it causes more damage to your gums or dental appliance. 

What to Do if You Notice Swollen Gums

When you notice swollen gums, there are several things you can do. 

Step 1–Improve Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Gently floss between your teeth to remove plaque and debris.

Step 2–Rinse with Saltwater: Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to soothe swollen gums and reduce inflammation.

Step 3–Use a Cold Compress: Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the outside of your cheek to reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort. This can provide some mild relief.

Step 4–Schedule a Dental Appointment: If your swollen gums persist or worsen, it’s essential to see your dentist. They will perform a thorough exam to diagnose the underlying cause. Then, they will recommend the right treatment.