If your gums are swollen, red, or tender, you may be experiencing symptoms of gum disease. However, not every person who’s experiencing swollen gums will have gum disease. It’s crucial to visit your dentist to determine if you’re suffering from symptoms of gingivitis, although these symptoms often involve bleeding and receding gums as well as bad breath. If you’re not suffering from gingivitis, there are steps you can take to reduce your gum swelling at home!
Determine What’s Causing the Swelling
After your dentist visit to check for gum disease, discuss what could be causing the swelling. You may have just gotten braces, your wisdom teeth removed, or had an injury to your mouth. These are the more obvious causes, but there are less obvious ones as well. Pregnant women tend to experience swollen gums, or you may not be brushing and flossing properly. Only when you determine what’s causing the swelling can you take effective steps to treat the problem!
Brush and Floss Gently
Are you brushing too hard? This could be causing your gum irritation. You want to be sure to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently. Plaque doesn’t require much effort to remove, and if you’re brushing twice a day, soft brushing will certainly do the trick to remove this sticky substance. Flossing gently once a day can also help to remove any plaque that’s built up and could be irritating your gums. The American Dental Association recommends you use about 18 inches and use a clean section for every tooth!
Rinse with Salt Water
A salt water solution could help soothe your gums and remove any irritants such as bacteria or trapped food particles. Try a quarter teaspoon or up to a teaspoon in a cup of warm water. Swish the salt water around gently in your mouth for a minute or so, then spit out. Be sure not to swallow as this solution could contain bacteria and food particles that you don’t want in your body!
Do Warm and Cold Compresses
Alternating warm and cold compresses to the outside of the affected area can increase circulation and help reduce your gum swelling. While warm compresses tend to be soothing, cold compresses are more effective at helping to reduce pain. Alternate warm and cold and hold against your face, don’t apply the compress directly to your gums. Always be sure to use a clean cloth and never apply extreme temperatures to your skin.
Check Your Diet
If you and your dentist are stumped about what’s causing your gum swelling, it might be time for some blood work. You could be deficient in key nutrients that could be leading to circulation or healing issues. Always ensure to eat a well balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. These foods will help encourage total oral health in addition to reducing your gum swelling.
Gum swelling can be unsightly and painful. Your first step is a trip to the dentist to ensure you’re not suffering from gum disease. Then, you can try the steps listed above to try and improve your gum swelling. Soothing compresses, salt water rinses, and proper brushing and flossing can help!
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