There are a number of reasons why gums can become inflamed. One of the most common is food that has been trapped below the gum line. This causes your gums to swell. In most cases, brushing and flossing your teeth will correct the problem. However, if your gums remain inflamed for more than 24 hours, and you cannot find any signs of food caught between your teeth or in the gums, you may be suffering from a more serious dental issue.
What Causes Inflammation of the Gums?
If your inflammation isn’t caused by food stuck below the gum line, chances are you have gingivitis. This condition develops when plaque is not properly removed during brushing, allowing it to build up along the gum line. Over time, your gums become irritated and inflamed. Gingivitis symptoms are usually mild, and if addressed early may only require a professional cleaning as treatment.
Another cause of swollen and inflamed gums is pregnancy. During this time, your body’s hormone production results in increased blood volume, which can make your gums feel swollen. They will also be more prone to bleeding when you brush or floss. In some cases, this may make it more easy for your gums to become infected, so it’s important that you call our office right away if you notice this happening.
Oral infections are another common cause of gum inflammation. Patients with herpes may develop a condition known as herpetic gingivostomatits, which can cause your gums to become inflamed. Thrush is another common oral infection that may cause inflammation of the gums.
Finally, a diet that is deficient in vitamin C can also cause swollen gums. Not only that, but failure to consume enough vitamin C may also lead to the development of scurvy, which can also lead to conditions like anemia and gum disease. Taking a daily vitamin supplement can ensure that you’re receiving enough vitamin C daily.
If your gums are swollen and inflamed due to gingivitis, you’ll be given a professional cleaning in order to remove the buildup from beneath your gum line. You’ll also be advised on proper brushing and flossing techniques, and your dentist may recommend some specific dental products for you to use. If an infection is also present, your dentist will prescribe you an antibiotic or rinse that will help treat the infection.
It’s important to treat inflamed gums gently. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and use a gentle, circular massaging motion when brushing your teeth. Trying to scrub the buildup off your teeth or gums with a rough, back and forth motion can actually damage your gums and tooth enamel further. Call your dentist’s office right away, and use a warm salt water rinse to help reduce any swelling. If you’re in pain, you can also take an over-the-counter pain medication until professional treatment begins to help.