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Gum Health: Why Are My Gums Swollen?

Did you recently wake up one morning and notice that your gums feel swollen? Whether it’s one area of the mouth that seems to be irritated, or the problem is throughout your mouth, it’s important to talk to a dentist for diagnosis and possible treatments. You can search online for information about “why are my gums swollen?,” but it’s difficult to diagnose the exact problem without visiting a dental expert.

Swollen gums could be a small issue that will clear up in a few days. Or, it’s possible that you have a more serious gum infection. Regardless of the severity of your symptoms, it’s a good idea to evaluate at-home remedies and also determine if in-office dental treatments are necessary.

What Causes Your Gums to Swell?

If you are wondering why is my gum swollen, it often means that there is an infection. But gums can also become sore and inflamed for other reasons. It could be caused by any of the following issues:

  • Gum disease (gingivitis)
  • Sensitivity to oral care products
  • Medication side effects
  • Food debris stuck in the gums
  • Poorly fitting dental appliances, such as dentures
  • Infection from a bacteria, virus, or fungus
  • Pregnancy or hormone changes
  • Malnutrition (vitamin deficiencies)
  • Unmanaged diabetes
  • Using tobacco products

Not only do you need to consider the location-specific symptoms that are occurring, but also look at other associated symptoms. For example, if the gums are swollen and the tooth nearby is painful, then you might have a tooth infection and abscess.

If you are noticing that the symptoms are progressing quickly, then you might be wondering why are my gums swelling up? A fast onset of symptoms usually indicates an infection or immediate irritation. On the other hand, a slower development of swollen gums could be an indication of other issues.

How Do You Know If Swollen Gum is Infected?

If you are asking why are my gums swollen, then you likely want to know whether it is an infection or something else. It’s important to determine the presence of an infection so that you can decide whether treatments are necessary.

In addition to swelling, other symptoms of a gum infection might include bleeding when flossing or brushing, as well as pus coming from the irritated area.

A gum infection might seem like a minor inconvenience. But the truth is that untreated gum infections can develop into much more severe symptoms. Procrastinating treatments can turn into permanent conditions that damage the jawbone, surrounding teeth, and more.

Immediate Care Tips for Swollen Gums

If you are asking “why do my gums feel swollen,” then there are a few things you can do at home to rule out small irritants. Start by brushing and flossing your teeth. Focus the flossing on the inflamed part of your gums.

Even though it might feel uncomfortable and tender to floss there, it’s important to dislodge any food particles that might be stuck in the gums. You might notice that your gums start bleeding when you are flossing, which could be an indication of an infection.

When swollen gums are caused by stuck food particles, then it will feel good after you have removed the object. You still might have tenderness in that area of your mouth, but the symptoms will start improving quickly.

Also, you can rinse your mouth with salt water a few times a day. This at-home remedy for swollen gums helps to reduce the symptoms and fight any minor infections that might be present.

If your symptoms continue worsening, then make sure to see a dentist right away. If you notice that the swelling is visible in your face, then consider using an ice pack to manage the symptoms. Also, over-the-counter pain medications can be used to decrease the pain until your appointment for gum disease treatment.

How Do You Get Rid of an Infection in Your Gums?

Not only do you need to ask your dentist “why are my gums swollen and bleeding,” but it’s just as important to discuss potential treatment options. The most common cause of swollen gums is an infection. Luckily, there are various in-office treatments that can be used to treat gingivitis.

For gingivitis or periodontitis, antibiotics might be necessary. One option is to use a prescription medication taken orally. Or, the dentist might recommend placing tiny antibiotic beads into the pocket of infection. For example, you can have a root planing and scaling treatment to remove the plaque and tartar buildup under the gumline, as well as a placement of a local antibiotic treatment to promote healing in the pocket.

When a gum infection is severe, it can cause gum recession – eventually leading to surgery to reconstruct the gum line. Ideally, gum disease is caught in the earlier stages to avoid these more invasive treatments in the future.

What is the Fastest Way to Heal a Gum Infection?

With proper treatment, a gum infection can heal relatively quickly. Antibiotics are fast and effective in eliminating severe symptoms and serious health threats. But it’s also important to look at the underlying cause of gum disease and use other treatments as well, such as scaling and root planing.

If an in-office treatment is used, you will notice an improvement in symptoms within a few days. It’s important to continue monitoring the condition though, because there is a risk of the gum infection returning.

How Long Does It Take for Gum Inflammation to Go Away?

Swollen gums should last no more than a few days. If the symptoms persist, it’s essential that you schedule an appointment with our dental team. The longer the symptoms last, the more likely you are dealing with a larger issue such as a tooth abscess, periodontitis, or gingivitis.

Call the Experts: Why Are My Gums Swollen?

If you are wondering why your gums feel swollen, then it’s an indication that you need to schedule a dental checkup. Our team offers a variety of preventive dental services, including gum treatments to stop the infection before it gets worse.

You can learn more about gum treatments and other general dentistry services by reaching out to us at myDental. Schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.