Swollen gums are a common symptom of several oral health issues. Many causes of swollen gums are easy to treat, but if ignored they can become serious problems.
Suffering From Swollen Gums
That is why it is important to take swollen gums seriously by uncovering the underlying cause. Here are some of the most common health issues that cause swollen gums:
An Abscessed Tooth
An abscess is an infection in or around the root of a tooth. Depending on the severity of the tooth and if the soft tissue inside tooth begins to die, it may or may not cause pain. An abscess is normally treated with a root canal. If you notice swollen gums coupled with an ache in the bone of the tooth, it is time to visit the dentist.
Plaque and Gum Disease
Our mouths are full of bacteria, mucus, and particles which are constantly forming plaque. Plaque is a colorless, sticky substance that sticks to teeth and eats at the enamel. Normally, daily toothbrushing gets rid of most plaque, but what isn’t removed can harden and become tartar. Once plaque becomes tartar, only a professional cleaning can remove it.
As plaque and tartar remain on teeth, more and more bacteria makes its home there. This eventually leads to gum disease. A dentist may refer to gum disease by one of its stages:
- Gingivitis is a very mild form of gum disease. It is almost exclusively identified by swollen gums. So, if your gums are swollen and bleed easily, you might have gingivitis. It is easily reversible by daily cleaning and dentist visits.
- Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is not treated and becomes advanced. Like Gingivitis, periodontitis is characterized by gum swelling. In addition to the swelling, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected allowing plaque and bacteria to enter beneath the tooth. This can lead to the tooth removal.
Less than Perfect Oral Hygiene
An abscessed tooth or gum disease can both be easily prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene. However, even the most faithful brusher and flosser can still experience these problems. Food that is not picked up by cleaning builds up over time and can lead to swollen gums, bleeding, persistent bad breath and or lose teeth.
The most important thing is to ensure you do the best you can. A good oral hygiene routine is a good place to start, as are visits to a qualified dentist every six months. These visits will guarantee that plaque and tartar are regularly removed, and any issue with your mouth can be spotted.
Start Taking Care of Your Oral Health, Today
Swollen gums are your body’s way of telling you that your teeth need more attention. By keeping up with up with regular dentist visits, brushing your teeth daily, and maintaining your oral health, swollen gums do not have to be a problem. Learn more about our dental services, and pay us a visit at any one of our North Carolina locations.
Suffering from sensitive teeth, you're not alone. Check out this post to learn more: "Sensitive Teeth: What’s Causing It and How It Can Be Avoided?"