What Causes Swollen Gums & What Does it Mean? 


At Lifetime Family Dental, we aim to provide the highest level of excellence in dental healthcare. One key factor in keeping this commitment to you is by helping you to avoid gum disease, which affects nearly half of all Americans over the age of 30. Swollen gums is the most common cause of the gum disease, gingivitis. Maintaining a top-notch oral hygiene routine is your best defense, as is preventing or reversing gum disease early on. 

Gum Disease, or Something Else? 

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and occurs when food and bacteria are not properly brushed or flossed from teeth. This allows tartar to build up over time and often for gums to swell. Fortunately, gingivitis is generally reversible with good oral hygiene, but when it is more advanced, you will want to consult with your dentist who may recommend a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. If left untreated, gingivitis can result in periodontitis, a serious gum disease leading to bone loss. 

Other factors such as pregnancy, infection or a dental abscess could also be to blame for swollen gums. In many instances, however, this condition can successfully be treated at home. 

Home Remedies for Swollen Gums 

  • Brush and floss gently, daily 
  • Get adequate vitamin C and D 
  • Rinse with saltwater, 3 tbs hydrogen peroxide, aloe vera mouthwash, or an essential oil mixture to wash out bacteria
  • Apply turmeric gel
  • Stay hydrated—water helps produce saliva which fights bacteria 
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco which irritate already swollen gums

Medical Treatment

Depending on the cause of your gum inflammation, your dentist may prescribe a medicated mouthwash, ointment or toothpaste to reduce plaque and get your dental health back on track. As mentioned earlier, in more serious cases of gingivitis, scaling and root planing is a common treatment option. In the case of an abscess, treatment that includes antibiotics, incision and drainage may be necessary. 

Give us a Call 

Of course, the cause of swollen gums could be as simple as having a piece of popcorn stuck between your teeth. If swelling persists beyond one week, however, and your healthy hygiene routine and home remedies aren’t cutting it—give your dentist at Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert a call to take a closer look and further assess what’s going on.


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