Swelling anywhere in the body is a sign of inflammation, and this is true of gums, as well. Inflammation may result from localized trauma, such as brushing or flossing too hard, or from a series of other issues, like gum disease, nutritional problems, or medication side effects. Knowing the cause of this symptom is the key to restoring health and comfort to the gums. Below is more about the causes of gum swelling and treatments for gum disease, one of the most common reasons for swollen gums.
Rough Brushing and Flossing
Both brushing and flossing should be done gently to avoid damaging the gums. The gums are delicate, and even a soft-bristled toothbrush can cause inflammation if too much force is used.
Early gum disease, also called gingivitis, is a major cause of gum swelling. Heredity, poor oral hygiene and tobacco use are among the most common causes of gum disease. In many cases, patients do not realize that they suffer from this condition.
Medication Side Effects
Some medications, such as those that cause dry mouth, predispose patients to swollen gums. Dry mouth also increases risks of tooth decay, so asking a doctor about alternative drugs can be worthwhile when facing this problem.
Deficiencies of certain nutrients can cause gum swelling. For example, vitamin C deficiency, known clinically as scurvy, may first be detected via swollen gums that bleed when brushed.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
When mild gum swelling develops because of gum disease, better oral hygiene may reverse the condition. However, some patients may require deep cleaning at our Houston office to remove plaque from the teeth and beneath the gums. Gum flap surgery may be necessary to clear plaque from deeper under the gums. It is important to seek treatment before development of full-blown periodontitis, which may require tissue grafting to restore damaged tissues.
Swelling of the gums can cause pain that is mild or severe. When intense discomfort is involved, an appointment at our Houston office should be made as soon as possible. You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Nazari, our emergency dentist, to learn more about why the gums swell and what treatments are available.
Copyright 2015. Antoine Dental Center. All Rights Reserved.