Taking Care of Swollen Gums
Have you ever noticed swollen gums or bleeding, particularly when you brush or floss? If you notice swollen gums, bleeding or discomfort in your gums, consult with your dentist to find out what is causing these symptoms.
Your gums play an important role in your overall oral health by supporting your teeth. If your gums aren’t in good health or aren’t cared for properly, you may experience swollen gums or gum disease that can lead to other health problems.
Causes of Swollen Gums
Swollen gums are quite common and often involve the small, triangular sections of gums between your teeth, otherwise known as papillae. (1) Swollen gums can be caused by a variety of triggers; some common causes include improper brushing or flossing techniques, gum disease, chemotherapy, tobacco use or hormonal changes.
What Happens if Swollen Gums Go Untreated?
Because swollen gums can be your body’s way of telling you there's a problem, swollen gums shouldn’t be ignored. While there are many causes of swollen gums, they are often brought on by early gum disease, which means they can often be healed with an effective oral hygiene regimen. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis and lead to serious problems such as tooth loss. Periodontitis has also been associated with other serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
How to Treat Swollen Gums
Treating and helping prevent swollen gums can be fairly simple. Here are a few ways to help keep your gums healthy:
- Improve Your Nutrition: Eating a well-balanced diet can contribute to better gum health. Be sure to get plenty of Vitamin C and calcium, which can minimize the likelihood of experiencing swollen gums.(1)
- De-Stress: High levels of stress can impact your hormone levels, particularly the hormone cortisol. Cortisol can lead to inflammation and possibly swollen gums. Try to de-stress as much as possible.
- Stay Away from Extreme Foods and Beverages: Extremely hot or cold foods or beverages, or those that may irritate your gums, such as crunchy chips or crackers, can aggravate inflamed gums. Until your swollen gums are healed, try to avoid these foods and beverages.
- Avoid Tobacco: Tobacco use has been shown to significantly increase your chance of experiencing gum disease, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
- Focus on Oral Hygiene: Swollen gums can often be avoided by maintaining an effective oral hygiene routine. Brushing after every meal and flossing at least once a day can help significantly improve the health of your teeth and gums.(2)
For best results, help eliminate swollen gums by taking the best possible care of your teeth and gums. This includes diligently using the best tools available. While there are hundreds of toothpastes, toothbrushes, dental flosses and rinses to choose from, taking good care of your mouth and helping to preventing swollen gums can be easy by using a comprehensive oral hygiene regimen. Crest Pro-Health offers several different products designed to meet various oral health needs. A Crest Pro-Health regimen, which features an effective combination of products including a powerful toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash, are all designed to help prevent gingivitis before it starts.