Swollen Gums

Gums are the pink tissue surrounding your teeth and that protect your jawbone. They may become swollen from irritation from certain foods, flossing or poor oral hygiene. Don’t ignore your swollen gums; if your gums have been swollen for a long period of time contact your dentist. It may be a sign of gum disease, also known as gingivitis.

Common Symptoms of Swollen Gums

Your gums may have the following symptoms if they are swollen:

  • Bright red or purple coloring
  • Irritation
  • Bleeding, especially when brushing or flossing
  • Pain

Common Causes of Swollen Gums

Gum disease is one of the most common causes of swollen gums. Other common causes include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Pregnancy
  • Sensitivity to toothpaste or mouthwash
  • Food particles stuck between teeth and gums
  • Side effect of a medicine
  • Infection

If you believe you have a dental infection, contact your dentist immediately. Dental infections can become life threatening if not treated.

The best way to determine the cause of your swollen gums is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan.

How Can I Prevent And Treat Swollen Gums

There are some preventative measures you can take to help avoid swollen gums, including maintaining good oral hygiene and eating healthy foods. When you have swollen gums, they need to be treated with care. Here are some ways you can help treat your swollen gums:

  • Soothe your gums by brushing and flossing regularly but gently, so you don’t irritate them
  • Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid irritants, including strong mouthwashes, alcohol, and tobacco

Regular visits to the dentist or hygienist for a professional cleaning are an important part of preventative care. 

Depending on the cause and severity of your swollen gums, your dentist might prescribe an oral rinse or a special brand of toothpaste. Your dentist might also prescribe a course of antibiotics if your gums are infected. If gum disease is the cause of your swollen gums, you might need a special type of cleaning called scaling and root planing

Who Treats Swollen Gums?

A general dentist can usually treat your swollen gums, but if you have gum disease, a periodontist will treat you. A periodontist specializes in dental bone and tissue diseases. Our general dentist and/or periodontist are highly trained in treating swollen gums. They will suggest the best treatment option for you.

To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.