Inflammation and Swelling of the Gum Tissue

The gums are an often-neglected part of oral health. While many people focus on their teeth and the prevention of cavities, it is just as important to think about gum swelling.

The gums are responsible for partly anchoring the teeth to the jaw and provide protection for the roots that secure the teeth in the jaw. If people neglect the health of their gums, this can spread bacteria throughout the rest of the mouth creating serious oral health issues and overall health of the body

There are several signs that people may notice that could clue them into a larger problem with their gums. Examples of these include:

  • Bleeding of the gums when people brush or floss
  • A receding gum line
  • Pain in the gums
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Red or purple color of the gums

It is important not to ignore swelling of the gums. This should be addressed as quickly possible, which involves understanding a few basic points about gum inflammation.

Why are my Gums Swollen?

One of the most common questions that people have is about gum swelling. Like other parts of the body, the gums will swell in response to some form of mistreatment. For example, if someone bangs or scrapes their knee, it will swell up as a response. The gums are the same way. If the gums are injured or damaged, they will start to swell. This swelling shows up because the immune system starts to mobilize cells to move towards the gums to start the repair process. These cells include white blood cells, platelets, plasma and other cells that play a critical role in the healing process.  The #1 reason gums swell is because bacteria infects the gums like an open sore on your leg.  Your cells try to kill the bacteria.

What are Some of the Causes of Gum Inflammation?

There are several different reasons why the gums may have become inflamed. One of the most common reasons is gingivitis. This is the medical term for gum inflammation in response to plaque formation. Plaque is bacteria.  When people do not brush their teeth and floss on a regular basis, plaque starts to build up As bacteria sit in and around the gums, the body’s immune cells flood the gum tissue and swells. In addition to swelling, additional signs of gum inflammation include bleeding and pain. Other causes of gum inflammation can include trauma, viruses, fungus, and some chronic medical conditions.

How to Treat Gum Inflammation

The treatment of gum inflammation centers around proper oral hygiene when bacteria is the main cause. This means brushing and flossing on a regular basis. When people brush their teeth, it is important to make sure to brush along the gum line as well. Angling the tooth brush away from the gums while still brushing along the gum line can knock some of this plaque loose, helping the gums to heal. In addition, flossing is of vital importance. Make sure to floss along the borders of both teeth in between the cracks. This will help to remove some of the retained food that may have been providing resources to bacteria living in these areas. I always recommend a professional electric toothbrush.  It is magic and will change substantially improve your oral health.  Over time, the gum inflammation will improve, and symptoms will start to fade.

How Long Does It Take to Effectively Treat Gum Inflammation?

When people feel pain in their gums and notice bleeding while brushing and flossing, they are often anxious for it to go away. It is important to note that treating gingivitis will take some time. It took a while for it to appear and it will take some time for it to go away as well. The ultimate treatment time is going to depend on how bad the gum inflammation is. Relatively minor cases are going to dissipate faster than more extensive issues. For those who are eager to treat it as quickly as possible, visiting an oral health professional for additional treatments is the best treatment.  Whatever you do, do not stop brushing or flossing.  The more you floss the quicker the bleeding will go away.

Ultimately, gum swelling is only one of the many different signs of gum inflammation. Other things to watch for include inflammation of the gums, a receding gum line, the color and bleeding of the gums when people are brushing and flossing.

Let the Professionals at Modern Family Dental Care Help

Treatment of inflamed or swollen gums is a multi-factorial task involving an oral health professional. Those who are dedicated to improving their oral health will see success and can prevent serious gum disease from developing. On the other hand, ignoring serious gum disease can lead to deterioration of the teeth and gums. This is the number 1 reason people 35 years of age and older lose their teeth, which can lead to significant quality of life issues.

If you are concerned with the health of your gums, consult one of the oral health professionals at Modern Family Dental Care today. Schedule an appointment, or contact us today!

Written by Dr. Taj

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