What are swollen gums?
Swollen gums may very well be the most straightforward symptom of any condition related to gum disease. Simply stated, if your gums are puffy, inflamed, or enlarged, you can say that your gums are swollen. Under most circumstances, this swelling will involve several of the triangle shaped areas of the gums between the teeth called papillae. The swelling itself is often a result of an accumulation of white blood cells and fluids that are reacting to irritation and inflammation caused by bacteria and plaque along the gum line.
Signs of swollen gums
Swollen gums are defined as enlarged, swollen, or puffy gums. It is usually obvious when you are suffering from swollen gums, as they will be abnormally large, bulging, or protruding around the teeth.
The fact that swollen gums present you with a visible symptom makes it rather easy to perform a self-diagnosis. There is usually not much pain associated with swollen gums, so if you are experiencing discomfort from them you should consult with your dentist or doctor immediately.
Progression of swollen gums
|• Gums begin to bulge, protrude around teeth||• Gums begin to turn darker red from irritation
• Gums are more tender and bleed easily
|• Swelling continues and teeth can be obscured||• Swelling and bleeding worsen
• Advanced decay and periodontal disease can occur
Dangers of swollen gums
As with most instances of gum disease, swollen gums are often a precursor to or warning sign of a much more serious condition. People that suffer from periodontal disease (the most advanced form of gum disease) have at some point suffered from swollen gums.
The good news about this built in warning system for your body is that it allows you the opportunity to fix things before you suffer from potentially far worse conditions.
What causes swollen gums?
Swollen gums can originate from number sources, the most common of which are:
- Infection from a virus or fungus
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Sensitivity to toothpaste or mouthwash
- Side effect of medication
- Vitamin C deficiency (scurvy)
- Bacteria buildup
By far, bacteria buildup is the leading cause of swollen gums. No matter what you do, there are always hundreds of types of bacteria forming in the mouth. While this may be inevitable, it is also the easiest thing to prevent. For many, it may be as simple as adhering to a strict oral hygiene plan that will eliminate these bacteria and prevent them from growing out of control.
You may already be following a good general plan of oral hygiene that just needs to be stepped up a notch to combat the onslaught of bacteria that are constantly growing. It may come down to improving your brushing technique, or brushing more frequently after eating to not only eliminate bacteria, but the leftover food particles and sugary residues that feed them. Remember, it only takes a couple of hours for bacteria to form plaque, and only a couple of days for that plaque to harden into tartar.
How to prevent swollen gums
If your swollen gums are a result of these bacteria in the mouth, you need to begin executing an effective oral hygiene program immediately. This involves keeping your mouth as clean as possible as much of the time as possible. In order to get the best results, you should be sure to floss daily before you brush your teeth, brush at least twice a day, and use an anti-bacterial mouth rinse to reach all the areas your brush and floss cannot.
Treatment of swollen gums
Treating swollen gums is fairly simple in the majority of cases. Just adapt your oral hygiene practices to a more vigilant degree, and avoid excess sugars that can feed bacteria. If you’ve done this and are not finding relief, then you may need to change the products you use for dental care. Many toothpastes and mouthwashes contain chemical ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and alcohol that can cause more rapid growth of bacteria. Better results can often be achieved by making the switch to an all natural product without these harmful ingredients.
Cost of swollen gums
If you catch it early enough, you can prevent the more serious conditions that can follow swelling of the gums. This can save you time, pain, and hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. If you don’t stop gum disease in its tracks, then you could be looking at one or more of the following procedures…and bills:
What to do about it
If you’re just noticing swelling of the gums, then you still have time to prevent it from developing into one of the many more serious periodontal conditions that exist. If you’re practicing good oral hygiene and still find no relief in sight, don’t give up. It may be as simple as switching to a natural alternative without the harmful ingredients of most commercial brands.
Did it ever occur to you that the least expensive and painful option might be found in nature? Why not try a great product that provides natural relief?