What do Swollen Gums Mean?

When the gums are swollen, it is often related to dental health or the general health of the person concerned. Often swollen gums are the first warning signal for a tooth disease. However, the triggers can also be harmless. However, if the symptoms persist, you should make an appointment with the dentist. Swelling of the gums can also be actively prevented.

  • Swollen gums can be recognized by redness, increased sensitivity and bleeding when brushing your teeth and eating.
  • The most common causes of gum swelling include bacterial inflammation, improper dental care, dental treatments, and smoking.
  • Meticulous oral hygiene is required to prevent swollen gums.

Swollen gums: what are the symptoms?

There are several signs that you can tell that your gums are swollen. This is because it has some differences to a healthy oral mucosa. Swelling often occurs in combination with other symptoms. Above all, these include:

  • Redness (sometimes even dark red)
  • Bleeding when cleaning teeth and eating
  • Increased sensitivity (gum and tooth pain)
  • Visible sores in the mouth

Swelling is the first warning signal for periodontal diseases such as gingivitis ( inflammation of the gums ) or periodontitis. However, if stronger symptoms such as shortness of breath or high fever appear, those affected should definitely consult a doctor. This examines whether there is a connection between the complaints.

Causes of swollen gums

Swelling of the gums can have various causes. Sometimes a combination of several triggers is responsible for swollen gums. The most common causes include:

  • Inflammation of the gums:If the gums become inflamed due to a bacterial infection (e.g. tooth decay), the mucous membrane usually swells. Inadequate oral hygiene is usually responsible for the fact that bacteria can multiply above the gum line.
  • Incorrect tooth brushing: If you press too hard with the toothbrush, you may damage the sensitive gums, which swell as a result. Affected people can remedy this by using a softer brush head. In addition, it is advisable to only clean the teeth with gentle, circular movements.
  • Dental treatment: After a dental treatment, gum swelling can also occur. Especially after extensive treatment, such as the removal of a wisdom tooth , it is not uncommon for the gums to be swollen. However, the symptoms usually go away within a few days.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoke contains numerous substances that are harmful to teeth and gums. As a result, smokers suffer more often than average from gum problems. This applies not only to swelling, but also to bleeding and inflammation of the mucous membrane.
  • Other causes: Other triggers of gum swelling include, among other things, nocturnal teeth grinding, edema, fistulas on the gums, cysts and granulomas.

Swollen gums during pregnancy

Pregnancy can also cause swelling of the gums. The changed hormone level of a pregnant woman ensures a stronger blood flow to the oral mucosa, which loosens the actually firm tissue structure a little. As a result, bacteria penetrate the gum line more easily, which promotes the development of inflammation and swelling.

The consequences of swelling of the gums

If swellings remain on the gums for a long period of time, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) often develops. In the worst case, this can develop into periodontitis, which is associated with a regression of the gums and a breakdown of the jawbone and can lead to tooth loss. For this reason, it is advisable to consult a dentist early on in the event of any problems with the gums.

Treatment of swollen gums

If the gums are swollen, it usually doesn’t take long for the affected area to become inflamed (if it hasn’t already been). For this reason, the first step in treatment is often to have the doctor remove tartar and plaque. Afterwards, it makes sense to use an antibacterial mouth rinse with Chlorhexamed. It prevents bacteria and other germs from colonizing the affected areas again. Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin are available to relieve severe symptoms. If an abscess is causing the gums to swell, the doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic.

If the gums remain permanently swollen or inflamed despite exemplary oral hygiene, a doctor should clarify whether an underlying disease is a possible cause of the symptoms. There is a possibility that serious illnesses such as diabetes mellitus or a weakened immune system are responsible for the symptoms.

Prevent gum swelling

The best remedy for swollen gums is thorough oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, not forgetting the spaces between your teeth. Electric and ultrasonic toothbrushes are particularly suitable for this. Also, make sure that the brush head is not too hard. In addition, you should only use mild care products. These must not contain any aggressive ingredients that irritate the oral flora.