The gum tissue (gingiva) inside our mouths is responsible for helping anchor our teeth in place. But when our oral tissues become infected, swollen, or bleed, it can lead to damage both in our teeth as well as underlying bone structure. In fact, chronic periodontal (gum) disease can even strain our immune system.
Identifying the source of your gum discomfort can help you prevent the spread of infection and preserve your natural teeth for even longer.
Some of the most common causes behind gum swelling include:
The earliest form of gum disease is gingivitis. Fortunately, it is 100% reversible with good oral hygiene practices and professional scale and cleans.
Common symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gum tissues as well as bleeding when you brush or floss.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of gingivitis, be sure to implement a thorough brushing and flossing routine each day. If symptoms do not resolve within two weeks, schedule an exam and clean.
Untreated gingivitis will eventually progress into gum disease (periodontitis.) This infection can cause significant swelling, gum discomfort, bleeding, and receding gumlines. Unfortunately, it also leads to tooth and bone loss.
Regular screenings for gum disease can help intercept this common infection before it spreads deeper into the surrounding anatomy. Unfortunately, there are no effective at-home treatments.
Sometimes food can get caught between teeth or just under the edges of your gums without you even noticing. A day or two later, the gums in that area will appear red, swollen, and tender.
One of the best things to do is tie a small knot in a piece of floss, then gently pull it through that space. More often than not, this step will remove packed debris. If it continues happening in the same space, you may have a cavity or gum disease at that location.
Aphthous ulcers and canker sores can cause discomfort for up to 10-14 days at a time. Depending on your risk factors, they can be triggered by stress, acidic foods, and even underlying medical conditions.
Most oral ulcers will heal on their own within two weeks. If they don’t, it’s important to see us for an oral cancer screening. In the meantime, you can rinse with warm salt water to ease minor inflammation.
Whenever the nerve inside of a tooth becomes infected, it can cause an abscess on the gums next to it. The abscess creates a small fistula or pimple and may even cause a salty taste in your mouth.
Abscesses cannot be treated with a filling or antibiotics alone. Since the nerve is no longer alive, it will need to be removed and the empty chamber sealed off to prevent reinfection.
Smile Concepts offers soft tissue therapies to treat swollen gums and eliminate discomfort. If you have sore gum tissues that bleed easily, be sure to request an exam at our Sydney CBD location today!
7 STAR EXPERIENCE
Dr. Manish Shah is a cosmetic dentist with a special interest in porcelain veneers, dental implants and Invisalign in Sydney. He is also a medical doctor with an expertise in sleep & craniofacial pain medicine practising at Smile Concepts.