Swollen, inflamed gums can be a serious cause of discomfort. While there are numerous possible causes of inflamed gums, a common cause is gum disease. Other causes include irritation from braces or other dental hardware or canker sores. Inflamed gums can cause significant discomfort; eating and drinking are often very painful when your gums are inflamed.
Inflamed Gums and Gum Disease
With more than 50 percent of American adults experiencing early gum disease, inflamed gums are a common ailment. Depending on the severity of inflamed gums, you may be suffering from one of two types of gum disease.
Types of Gum Disease that Cause Inflamed Gums
- Gingivitis: An early and mildest form of gum disease gingivitis affects millions of Americans each year. One of the most common signs of gum disease is inflamed gums that may bleed when you brush or floss. While gingivitis isn’t serious, the disease and your inflamed gums should be treated to avoid the progression of the disease.
- Periodontitis: When gingivitis is not treated in a timely manner, it can progress to the more serious type of gum disease known as periodontitis. At this point, inflamed gums are more painful and your teeth may begin coming loose. That’s because periodontitis has started to damage the tissue that is holding your teeth in place. Treating inflamed gums and periodontitis is very important for your long-term oral health.
Treating Inflamed Gums
Inflamed gums can quite easily be treated by helping reverse early gum disease. Address inflamed gums by taking the following steps to get your gums and mouth back in good health.
- Brush up on your brushing technique. Brush less vigorously to avoid damaging the tissue around your teeth, which can inflame gums. Also, experts recommend using a brush with soft, nylon bristles to prevent gum damage. Finally, be sure to use a gentle back and forth brushing motion. (1)
- Floss diligently. Flossing removes food particles that remain in between your teeth and can cause plaque and tartar build-up, both of which can lead to gum disease and inflamed gums. Also, be gentle when flossing to avoid inflamed gums. Carefully slide the floss between your teeth rather than forcing it down and causing damage to your gums.
- Rinse regularly. Whether you use an antiseptic mouth rinse, hydrogen peroxide, or just water, rinsing your mouth helps remove food particles and debris, as well as the carbohydrates that cause plaque and can lead to gum disease. So, no matter where you are, it helps to rinse your mouth after each meal or snack.
- Use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste. Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Advanced Toothpaste helps prevent gingivitis and helps reverse gingivitis in 4 weeks. For effective gingivitis protection, in addition to noticeable whitening* benefits, you may also want to elevate your oral care with Crest’s biggest breakthrough in toothpaste since fluoride, Crest PRO-HEALTH® [HD].
Finally, if you do suffer from inflamed gums, be sure to visit your dentist for treatment recommendations. Your dental professional can help pinpoint the specific cause of the inflammation and help you get to better gum health. The good news is that you don’t have to live with inflamed gums, since there are numerous ways to treat it.