Swelling of the gums is caused by several factors. Individuals with swollen gums may be suffering from gum disease, food or drink related irritation, dental caries, poor nutrition or other oral problems. Several solutions to the problem are listed below, but remember that the only way to understand exactly the cause of it is by going to the dentist.
Identify the cause. The gums may become swollen due to a variety of reasons, although in many cases the problem may be a sign of gum disease. It is important that you identify the cause of the swelling so that you can take the right approach: care for your gums at home or make an appointment with the dentist. Some common causes include:
Incorrect brushing or flossing. In many cases, swelling of the gums is a result of poor oral hygiene, allowing plaque buildup between the teeth and the gum line. You will need to start brushing and flossing regularly to remove excess plaque. In addition, many people who floss between their teeth do so with great force, which can also cause swelling.
Gingivitis and periodontitis. If good oral hygiene is not maintained, gum disease, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, can develop easily. Gingivitis is the least serious form and can be reversed if diagnosed early. On the other hand, periodontitis is much more serious and can lead to tooth loss. If you suspect you may have any of these diseases, see your dentist.
Canker sores. Thrush that forms on the gums can cause pain and swelling. Typically, it is possible to identify aphtha’s by their appearance, as they have the whitish medium and red edges. Multiple canker sores can appear at one time, but they are usually treatable and non-contagious.
Chemotherapy. One of the many unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy is pain, swelling and bleeding in the gums. Painful sores and sores may also appear. Although these symptoms can be alleviated, they will not disappear while the chemotherapy treatment continues.
Tobacco. Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products generally contributes to the pain and swelling in the gums. In fact, people who use tobacco products are much more likely to develop some gum disease than those who do not. Consequently, the first step in decreasing swelling of the gums is to stop smoking.
Hormones . Swollen gums may be the result of an increase in the release of hormones that increase blood flow to the gums, including those that are produced during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Certain birth control pills can also release these hormones.
Gently brush your teeth and floss. As mentioned above, swelling of the gums can often result from plaque buildup. This is the best, as you can easily fix the problem with flossing and gentle yet thorough brushing. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day: morning and evening, and after meals if possible. Try flossing once a day to remove the plaque that the brush cannot reach, but avoid using it more often as it may irritate the gums further.
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. It will effectively clean your teeth without causing further irritation. Avoid brushes with medium or hard bristles as they can cause the gums to become more swollen and may even damage the tooth enamel.
Many people make the mistake of believing that brushing harder is brushing better. That is not the case. The gums are made of delicate tissue, so brushing with too much strength does more harm than good. You should also avoid making vigorous back and forth movements while brushing. Instead, make gentle circular motions.
One last alternative you can try is to choose a toothpaste formulated to help prevent gingivitis. Most great brands of toothpaste offer this option.
Floss once a day to reach the plates that your toothbrush can not. Avoid doing it more than once a day or it can irritate the gums.
Flossing is neglected by many people, but even those who use it may be aggravating the gum problem by not caring. Avoid “threading” the floss forcefully between the teeth as this can damage the fragile tissue of the gum. Try to slide the floss between your teeth carefully, following the curve of each tooth.
Rinse mouth with a salty water solution. Making a saltwater mouthwash is an age-old trick to reduce swelling of the gums, but it is still one of the most effective. Salt acts as an antibacterial agent, ridding the mouth of contaminants and relieving inflammation.
To make a salt water solution, dissolve one teaspoon of common table salt in a glass of warm water. Make mouthwash with this solution, making sure to move it throughout the mouth to reach the gums. Do not swallow.
A similar result is obtained by rinsing with a mixture of water and lemon juice throughout the mouth for about 30 seconds. This option may not be as effective as the salt water solution, but will probably taste better!
The salt water solution can also be used to relieve sore throat, to clean new piercings and to disinfect wounds.