Swollen gums might not seem as severe of a mouth issue as a dental abscess or a cavity, but if you’ve had this problem, you’ll know it’s anything but. Swollen gums are common, and like abscesses and tooth decay, they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, especially when you’re eating. You may be wondering what is causing such an issue, and how your dentist might help. Sometimes, you can help resolve swollen gums on your own.
Cause #1: Vitamin Deficiencies
Your diet can contribute to swollen gums. If you lack vitamins such as Vitamin C or B, you can experience bleeding gums. If you’ve ever read about scurvy in your high school history class, such deficiencies were the cause. However, malnutrition isn’t common in the state of Washington, but older adults can experience it due to other health issues. If you suspect you’re dealing with this issue, see a physician, who may prescribe a vitamin regimen.
Cause #2: Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a very common cause of sore, swollen gums, if not the most common. Gingivitis happens when debris and bacteria gather under your gum line over time. Eventually, this becomes plaque and then tartar, which can irritate your gums. This is why your dentist reminds you to floss your teeth daily. Flossing goes a long way towards preventing and mitigating this condition. Gingivitis can start mild, with barely noticeable symptoms, but gum redness and irritation can follow, and in the worst cases, tooth loss can occur. If you suspect gingivitis, give your dentist a visit. Special cleanings can be done to remove plaque from under your gum line and get you on the road to recovery.
Cause #3: Infections
Infections should always be considered as a possible cause of swollen gums, since infections naturally trigger your body’s immune response. During your immune response, tissues swell, blood flow increases, and white blood cells flood the area to fight the infection. The result is swelling. If infection is causing swollen gums, it will typically be in one place, and you’ll notice a swelling in that area, and you’ll likely experience pain as well. The infection may even drain, causing a funny taste in your mouth, and may feel better after doing so. Oral infections must be seen by a dentist, as they may be a sign of a tooth abscess. Typically, abscesses are very painful, and you won’t be able to ignore the pain. Your dentist may need to do a root canal on an infected tooth, may pull the tooth, and may also prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection. The good news is that you’ll feel better quickly once treatment is started.
Pregnancy can cause hormonal fluctuations that can cause gum swelling, via increased blood flow. Gingivitis can also become more of a risk. Mechanical injury such as chewing on tough food can also cause temporary gum irritation, but if any signs of infection follow, be sure to see your dentist. Food can also become stuck between teeth or under your gum line, and regular cleanings can help to dislodge any debris that you can’t see.
Have Swollen Gums? Reach Out Today. If you live in the Smokey Point or Marysville, WA areas, we at Seven Lakes Dental are here to help. We specialize in comfort and are here to answer your questions. Reach out today.