Your gums are a vital part of your oral health. They protect your tooth roots and serve other important purposes. But what if they start to feel a little swollen or puffy? This issue can be quite uncomfortable, but should you worry about it? Well, that really depends on the cause. This blog post talks about what causes swollen gums and what you can do to find relief.
Swollen Gums May Require a Dental Visit
One of the most common causes of swollen gums is a condition known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and it afflicts millions of adults throughout the U.S. It occurs when bacteria sneak beneath the gumline and cause an infection. Left untreated, it can continue to worsen to the point where it becomes periodontitis (advanced gum disease). Periodontitis is a leading cause of tooth loss.
Fortunately, gingivitis is usually easy to treat. Your dental team may encourage you to make some positive changes to your oral hygiene routine. They may also clean your mouth and schedule you for regular follow-up care.
Another possible cause of swollen gums is pregnancy. The hormonal changes that occur within a woman’s body can affect her oral health, causing her gums to feel puffy. Pregnant women are also at an increased risk of gingivitis, so they should stay in close touch with their dentist until their baby is born.
Other Causes of Swollen Gums
Some other possible causes of swollen gums include:
- Minor irritation. Your gums might swell if you accidentally irritate them by eating hard foods (for example, if you eat fish, one of its small bones might stab your soft oral tissues). This type of inflammation usually resolves without a few days. In the meantime, rinsing with salt water and eating soft items can reduce your discomfort.
- A reaction to oral care products. If you recently started using new toothpaste or other oral care products, you might be having an adverse reaction. Try switching to different products (you can always ask your dental team for recommendations).
- Medications. Some medications cause swollen gums as a side effect. You may need to talk to your primary care practitioner.
- Poor nutrition. A lack of vitamin C can cause swollen gums. Be sure to include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit in your diet.
Swollen gums can indicate a serious oral health problem. If you are in doubt about the cause of this issue, schedule an appointment with your dentist ASAP.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Erick Anderson has decades of experience in dentistry. He is proud to offer gum disease therapy and a range of other treatments. If you are concerned about your gum health, our team would be pleased to serve you. Get in touch with us at 719-593-0988.