Gum swelling is a term for inflammation of the gum tissue that can have numerous causes.
Healthy, normal gum tissue should be firm and pink. If your gum tissue is swollen, it may appear
puffy and red, and may even bleed when you brush.
What exactly causes gum swelling? The following causes may be responsible for the
inflammation in your gum tissue and should always be followed up with an oral healthcare
professional to protect your smile!
Gum disease is one of the most common causes of gum swelling. When gum disease is present,
bacteria from plaque can get beneath your gumline and begin to irritate the gum tissue. When
this happens, the gum tissue will react and can become inflamed. Without treatment, gum
disease can progress to cause infections underneath the gums, which in turn can cause bad
breath, bleeding gum tissue, and even cause tooth loss.
Many medications can actually cause the gum tissue to become inflamed. These medications
include some seizure medications, immunosuppressant drugs (such as chemotherapy), and
some blood pressure medications. In some people, these medications can actually cause the
gum tissue to grow over your teeth and create an ideal place for bacteria to form. If you’re
concerned that one of your medications is causing gum swelling, don’t hesitate to schedule an
appointment with your dentist or physician.
Lack of Vitamin C
Although less common in developed countries, a lack of vitamin C in your diet can be damaging
to your gum tissue and can lead to gum disease and gum swelling. Vitamin C is an essential
nutrient for your gums and can help facilitate healthy connective tissue and support a strong
immune system to fight off gum infection.
Changing Your Oral Care Products
If you’ve recently started using a new toothpaste, mouthwash, or floss, your gum tissue may be
reacting to an ingredient in these products that you haven’t used before. If you’re experiencing
gum swelling after using a new product, you may consider discontinuing your use of the
product to see if this alleviates the issue. If it doesn’t, be sure to follow up with your dentist!
Flossing After a Long Time
Flossing is hugely beneficial for your smile and shouldn’t be painful or harmful to your teeth or gums. However, if you haven’t flossed in a long time and have recently started again, your gums might not be used to the movement of the floss and may react by swelling. This swelling should be temporary and shouldn’t last more than a couple of days after you’ve begun flossing again, but if it does, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist to see what the problem could be.
Are you experiencing gum swelling but aren’t sure what the problem is? It’s always best to
follow up with your dentist to see what could be causing your gum inflammation and to
effectively treat the problem. Your gums protect and anchor your teeth, so don’t neglect to
take care of them!