Do you have swollen gums? We all know very well how important it is to maintain oral health. Swollen gums may lead to serious consequences and oral problems when left untreated. It can cause other gum diseases. So, let us understand how to get rid of swollen gums.
1. What are Gums?
The gum, also called gingiva, is the tissue that surrounds and protects the teeth and bone behind it. The gingiva is linked to the tooth, providing a seal that protects the bone beneath it and acts as an infection barrier. Proper dental hygiene keeps this barrier intact, whereas poor oral hygiene can cause gingivitis by damaging the gingiva.
Poor dental hygiene results in the accumulation of bacterial plaques, which causes inflammation and the development of gingivitis. Gingivitis, if left untreated, can progress to periodontitis, a problem in which the seal between the gums and the tooth becomes loose, allowing infection and tooth damage.
2. Healthy Gums vs Swollen Gums
Healthy gums are normally coral or light pink in those with fair skin. However, they can be darker due to melanin pigmentation.
Swollen gums may have colour changes, particularly increased redness, as they have an increased susceptibility to bleed. They also indicate an inflammation caused by bacterial plaque formation.
Basically, the appearance of the gums defines the underlying histology.
3. What Causes Swollen Gums?
Swollen gums, also called inflamed gums, may result from plaque bacteria that frequently accumulate on, around, and in between your teeth. These oral pathogens, like plaques, tend to grow when food particles containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are left to linger in the mouth. So, try avoiding sugary drinks.
Gingivitis is a phase of gum disease that provokes swelling and irritation in the gums. It may be the underlying cause of swollen gums, and the dentist usually checks for it first when you complain of inflamed gums.
A person may not know they have gingivitis since they only feel mild pain or sensitivity. This is the reason why regular dental checkups are very important. Without proper medical treatments, gingivitis may develop into a serious gums infection called periodontitis or periodontal disease.
- Pregnancy and hormones may also be the cause of swollen gums. The hormones produced in the body during pregnancy can increase blood flow in the gums, making them sensitive and irritating. This may possibly lead to gum pain, gingivitis, or infected gums.
- Fungi and virus infections have the ability to cause swollen gums. If you have herpes, you may develop a condition known as acute herpetic gingivostomatitis, which causes swollen gums. Thrush is a condition caused by an overgrowth of naturally found yeast in the mouth. It can also cause gum swelling.
- Untreated tooth decay can result in a dental abscess, a localized gum swelling requiring dental care. So, problems from infected teeth may also be the reason why you are experiencing swollen gums.
- Vitamin deficiency, particularly vitamin B and C deficiency, can be one of the underlying causes of gingival swelling. Vitamin C is essential for the health and repair of your teeth and gums. Scurvy might develop if your vitamin C levels become too low. Anaemia and gum disease can be caused by scurvy.
- Moreover, dental appliances like braces and poorly fitting dentures may likewise be the reason for gingival swelling.
4. How to Get Rid of Swollen Gums?
4.1 Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene:
The most important step to get rid of swollen gums is to maintain proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice daily and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from your teeth and gums. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently clean your teeth and gums. Avoid brushing too hard as it can damage your gums and cause them to swell.
4.2 Use Saltwater Rinse:
Saltwater rinsing is an effective home remedy for swollen gums. Mix one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth with this solution for 30 seconds. Spit the saltwater solution out and repeat the process several times a day.
Salt water has many advantages as an oral health treatment. It neutralizes salivary lipid levels and the mouth’s pH. It also hydrates inflamed gums. Additionally, it prevents bacteria from multiplying in your mouth by reducing its size.
4.3 Apply Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the gums. Apply aloe vera gel to your gums and massage gently for a few minutes. Rinse your mouth with water and repeat the process twice a day. Aloe vera is also effective in treating gum disease.
4.4 Apply Turmeric Paste/ Turmeric Gel
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the gums. Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little water to form a paste. Apply to damaged gum and leave the gel to sit for 10 minutes. Afterward, wash off turmeric with warm water, if necessary. Repeat this process daily for 1 week or until the pain disappears.
4.5 Use Tea Bags:
Tea bags contain tannic acid, which helps to reduce swelling and inflammation in the gums. Place a used tea bag in warm water for a few seconds and then place it on the affected gums for 10-15 minutes. Repeat the process several times a day. You can also use green tea bags as they contain antioxidants that help to improve oral health.
4.6 Apply Clove Oil:
Clove oil has analgesic, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the gums. Apply a small amount of clove oil to your gums and massage gently for a few minutes. Rinse your mouth with water and repeat the process twice a day. Clove oil is also effective in treating toothache.
4.7 Warm and Cold Compresses:
One of the easiest home remedies to reduce the inflammation of gums would be applying warm and cold compresses. Either a warm or cold compress will help. For making a cold compress, wrap a bag of crushed ice with a towel.
A hot compress can be prepared by wetting a clean towel or a cloth with hot water. The excess water should be squeezed out. You can place the warm towel on your affected area for 5 minutes. The compresses should be applied outside the mouth and not directly on the affected area to reduce inflammation and swelling.
4.8 Chew on Cloves:
Cloves have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Chew on a clove or apply clove oil to the affected area
4.9 Brush and Floss Regularly:
Good oral hygiene can help prevent and reduce gum inflammation. Brush during morning and night. Floss your teeth at least once daily, preferably in the morning or before bed. Cut around 12 to 18 inches of floss to floss thoroughly and wrap both ends across your fingers. To remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles, gently glide the floss up and down the sides of each tooth.
To know more about how to floss properly, click here.
4.10 Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash:
An antibacterial mouthwash can help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
4.11 Essential Oils:
The essential oils of peppermint, tea, tree, thyme, and chamomile oil are excellent at preventing the formation of disease-causing germs in the mouth. Just mix any of these essential oils with warm water and gurgle for 30 seconds.
4.12 Hydrogen Peroxide Solution:
Hydrogen peroxide mixed with water can alleviate the swelling. Remember to use a 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide solution only. Prepare the solution with three tablespoons of water and hydrogen peroxide. Gargle the prepared hydrogen peroxide solution for half a minute and spit it out.
4.13 Ginger Paste:
Ginger contains anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. A piece of ginger crushed and mashed to paste can be mixed with salt to form a coarse paste, which can be used to treat swollen gums. Apply the ginger paste and leave it for at least 10 minutes. You can then wash your mouth with normal water.
4.14 Aloe Vera Mouthwash:
Using aloe vera mouthwash or fresh aloe vera gel can alleviate the swelling. Use 2 tablespoons or the required amount of aloe vera mouthwash and gargle for two minutes.
4.15 Lemon Juice:
A glass of warm water combined with lemon juice is one of the effortless home remedies. Do this twice a day to help you soothe gum inflammation.
4.16 Quit Smoking:
Smoking is a risk factor for gum disease. It can cause gum inflammation and damage your overall oral health. It also weakens the immune system and reduces blood flow to the gums, making it difficult for the body to fight infection. Quit smoking to improve your oral health.
4.17 Maintain a Healthy Diet:
A healthy diet is essential for good oral health. Eat a diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to get essential vitamins and minerals that promote gum health. Avoid sugary and starchy foods as they promote the growth of bacteria in the mouth, leading to gum disease. A diet rich in vitamin C and other nutrients can help boost your immune system and promote gum health.
4.18 Visit the Dentist Regularly:
Fixing appointments with the dentist regularly is vital for maintaining good dental and oral health. Visit your dentist every six months to check your teeth and gums for any signs of gum disease. If you have swollen gums, your dentist can recommend treatment options, including scaling and root planning, antibiotics, and surgery.
5. Q & A on Swollen Gums
5.1 What do Swollen Gums Mean?
Generally, swollen gums are signs that an illness or infection is present in your mouth. It is possible to treat swollen gums using simple oral hygiene. It is advised to brush twice a day and floss regularly.
You should also eat a well-balanced diet. Moreover, avoiding sugary drinks and tobacco is better for maintaining oral hygiene.
5.2 How Long Until Swollen Gums Go Away?
Swelling shouldn’t persist for more than a week. It’s vital that your gums be carefully observed if you experience inflammation. If the swelling persists for longer, immediately go to the dentist. It is also recommended to fix regular dental appointments.
5.3 What Causes Gum Swelling?
As plaque accumulates in your teeth, the more it causes inflammation in your gingivitis. As time goes on your gum becomes swollen with bruising. Teeth decay can occur. Other reasons include hormone changes, infections, vitamin deficiency, etc.
5.4 Can Swollen Gums Go Down on Their Own?
When you take care properly from the beginning, the swelling can disappear. You can resolve the problem yourself. But if the swelling persists for a long time, you should definitely seek dental care.
5.5 Why is My Gum Swollen Around One Tooth?
The gums that swell around a tooth are often indicative of a disease. It is usually called a dental abscess. The pain is extremely severe. The disease could continue if left untreated and result in further dental damage. So, if your gums remain swollen for more than a week, it’s necessary to get dental treatment.
5.6 Why do I Need to Worry About Gum Disease?
Even if you have the perfect white teeth with no cavities, you’re not immune to gum disease. The early stages of gum disease are usually painless, and people may not easily recognize anything is wrong with their oral health. But gum disease can cause other problems that destroy the gums, bones, and tissues connected to your teeth.
Swollen gums are a result of inflammation of a part of the tissue that surrounds the base of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws. It can be caused by various factors, including poor oral hygiene, gum disease, hormonal changes, medication side effects, and systemic illnesses. It can cause discomfort and pain.
If left untreated, inflamed gums may lead to more severe oral health problems, including tooth loss. So, read these above-stated home remedies to know how to get rid of swollen gums. Also, note that if your gums remain swollen for more than a week, immediately visit the dentist.
To know more about 13 causes of unhealthy gums, click hereAs an Amazon Associate, Icy Health earns from qualifying purchases.