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Swollen Gums: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Q&A

Swollen Gums: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Q&A

Swollen gums, also known as gingival swelling, can be indicative of various underlying issues. Common symptoms include redness, tenderness, bleeding, and bad breath. Early intervention is crucial to prevent the progression of gum disease and maintain overall oral health. If you experience persistently swollen gums or related symptoms, consult Dr. Ali Manesh, DMD, and Dr. Moein Darjani, DDS at Ideal Endodontics. We have convenient locations to serve you in Washington DC, and Woodbridge VA. For more information, please contact our office today or book an appointment online.

Swollen Gums: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Ideal Endodontics
Swollen Gums: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Ideal Endodontics

Table of Contents:

What do swollen gums mean?
How do dentists treat swollen gums?
Can gum swelling go away?
Is it normal to get swollen gums with braces?

What do swollen gums mean?


In most cases, swollen gums are a distinguishing characteristic of gingivitis, which is a mild form of periodontal disease. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into advanced gum disease and cause your symptoms and prognosis to worsen. So, if you develop sore or swollen gums, it’s important to see a dental professional to have your oral health assessed.
 
In addition to gum disease, swollen gums can be a result of hormonal changes, vitamin deficiencies, poorly fitted dental appliances, or an infection. While less common, medication side effects, unmanaged diabetes, and smoking are also culprits for swollen gums.
 
If you have something stuck in your gums, like a piece of popcorn, it could irritate your gums and cause swelling. However, if you’ve thoroughly cleaned your mouth and are still experiencing swollen, painful, or bleeding gums, you should schedule an appointment with an expert. Seeing a dental professional will provide you with clarity on why your gums are swollen and how to address this concern properly.

How do dentists treat swollen gums?


Dental professionals provide various treatments to address swollen gums. The right approach for you depends on what’s causing the underlying inflammation. Most commonly, swollen gums occur due to poor oral hygiene. In these cases, the dentist will provide you with instructions on oral health techniques and educate you on the importance of such practices.
 
Furthermore, the dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash to help reduce bacteria in the mouth and control gum inflammation. In more advanced cases of gum disease, known as periodontitis, dentists often perform scaling and root planing. This deep cleaning approach involves removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria from below the gum line and smoothing the tooth roots to promote gum reattachment.
 
When gum swelling is caused by an infection, your dental professional may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or antibiotics to combat your discomfort. If your gum irritation is a result of your lifestyle, the dentist will advise you to stop smoking, engage in stress management techniques, and adopt a balanced diet.
 
Overall, there are several different approaches that dentists commonly use to address swollen gums. Your treatment plan will be created with the cause of the inflammation and your oral health history in mind.

Can gum swelling go away?


With proper treatment, swollen gums can go away. In some cases, such as when a piece of food is lodged in the gums, relief can be achieved by thoroughly cleaning the mouth. If you have swollen gums due to gum disease, seeing a dental professional is important to prevent the condition from progressing to more serious stages.
 
While mild gum disease is reversible, more advanced stages can cause permanent damage to your oral health, especially if proper treatment is not received in time. The sooner that you seek treatment, the better the chances are that your gum irritation can be alleviated. In addition, receiving prompt treatment improves outcomes for your overall oral health.

Is it normal to get swollen gums with braces?


Yes, it’s normal to get swollen or painful gums when you have braces. This is especially common when your braces are new or have recently been adjusted. When the teeth are moved by orthodontic appliances, changes in the jawbone and gums occur.
 
As braces are adjusted frequently, they can cause seemingly never-ending discomfort. However, it’s important to remember that this side effect is normal and to continue to brush and floss the teeth thoroughly and regularly. It is more difficult to properly clean your teeth and gums when braces are in the way, so it’s important to be extra diligent to prevent oral health concerns, like gingivitis.
 
If you have braces and experience frequent gum discomfort, our team can assess your oral health and provide you with useful strategies for minimizing the irritation. It’s recommended to use a warm salt water rinse several times a day to soothe the gums while you’re waiting to be seen by a dental professional.

We strive to provide comprehensive guidance and support to help you address this important aspect of oral health. We will accompany you on your journey towards healthier gums and a brighter smile. We have convenient locations to serve you in Washington DC, and Woodbridge VA. Please contact our office today or book an appointment online for more information. We serve patients from Washington DC, Woodbridge VA, Arlington VA, Lorton VA, Manassas VA, Springfield VA, Alexandria VA, and Silver Spring MD.

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