Swollen gums can often feel painful, irritated and are prone to bleeding. They also might be a sign of gum disease, inflammation or problems with your teeth.
Swollen gums might cause pain but they might not hurt all the time. Gum disease is a common cause of swollen gums. And in its earliest stages, its symptoms show up as red and swollen gums that, although painless, might still bleed. As the disease progresses, it can cause loose teeth due to gums that have pulled away in certain spots.
While you can take precautions against swelling in your mouth by daily flossing and brushing, which will greatly reduce the amount of harmful bacteria on your teeth and below your gum line, it can happen to even the most dedicated of teeth-brushers. One remedy is to gargle with salt water because that rinses away bacteria. However, this is only a home remedy, and the problem may require professional attention, especially if it starts to spread and cause toothache.
Another common reason for swollen gums is tooth abscess. Often this can come from an untreated cavity that causes bacteria to spread throughout your tooth and infect it. Keep in mind it can cause irritation and ultimately cost you the tooth if left untreated. Common causes include pain, red or swollen gums, a swollen jaw or face, a tender or sore tooth, fever and even a salty taste in your mouth. Because treatment is required for an abscessed tooth, your dentist may give you antibiotics for the infection, a root canal to remove the infected pulp or extract the tooth entirely depending on the severity.
Your wisdom teeth (third molars) usually start to erupt (enter your mouth) during late adolescence. Sometimes, there’s not enough room for them, and they come in partially or not at all. This condition can lead to pericoronitis, inflammation of the tissue surrounding the tooth. When only part of the tooth has erupted into the mouth, it can create a flap of gum tissue that easily holds food particles and debris and is a hotbed for bacteria. Pericoronitis also can occur around a wisdom tooth that has not erupted at all and is still under the gums. This can cause pain around the wisdom teeth, swollen gums and pain in the back of the mouth.
To avoid pericoronitis, gum disease and other infections on your wisdom tooth, it is important that you call us and make an appointment if you notice any swelling, pain and bleeding of your gums.