Healthy gums are important to your oral health. After all, your gums firmly hold your teeth and ensure you can eat and drink without experiencing sensitivity. But what if your gums start to feel puffy or swollen? Although it may seem minor, swollen gums must be treated soon, or it may lead to damage to teeth and gums. Whether you should be worried or not depends on the cause of your swollen gums.

Scroll down to explore the common causes of swollen gums, home remedies, and treatment options.

Swollen Gums

Symptoms of Swollen Gums

Apart from a puffy appearance, swollen gums can have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Receding gums
  • Teeth feeling loose
  • Discharge from gums
  • Foul rotting smell in the mouth
  • Bleeding gum during brushing
  • Accumulation of plaque at the base of teeth
  • The swollen area turns red instead of healthy pink
  • Sweet pain in gums that makes you want to touch them frequently.

Causes of Swollen Gums

Hormones, an inadequate diet, and improper flossing technique are all contributing factors to swollen gums. Explore more about the treatment options and possible causes of swollen gums here: 

1. Gingivitis

The common cause of gum disease is gingivitis. It happens when gum infection is brought on by plaque accumulation around your teeth. Gums that bleed readily and are red, sore, and swollen around your teeth, indicate gingivitis.

Gingivitis needs careful attention. When gingivitis and swollen gums are detected early on, routine in-office cleanings and better at-home oral care are usually recommended. If it is left untreated, it can lead to periodontal disease that can damage the soft gum tissues that hold teeth.

2. Oral Abscess

If you don’t treat your gingivitis, it could also develop into a more serious bacterial infection in the tooth’s root. An abscess may grow as a result of this.

A pus-filled pocket that develops as a result of a serious infection is called an abscess. See a dentist as soon as possible if you think you may have an abscess; they can spread to other areas of the body and are quite serious. An abscess manifests as a fever, red, swollen gums, and intense, ongoing dental discomfort.

6. Stuck Food Particles

People who have eaten popcorn or nuts know about the stubborn kernels in between the teeth. In fact, popcorn or nuts can occasionally be the culprit behind irritated gums surrounding a tooth. It can lead to swollen gums in back of mouth where the brush or floss often reaches with difficulty. Usually, a good flossing can do the trick when food particles get stuck and rot between your teeth and gums.

7. Inadequate Flossing Method

Flossing has the opposite impact of gum inflammation, despite being a crucial strategy to minimise it. Wrong flossing is a common reason for swollen gums. Flossers need to be mindful that your gums are soft tissue. Floss can sever delicate gums when it is put in too deeply or too firmly, resulting in oral discomfort and edema.

Make sure the floss thread goes between your teeth all the way to the gum line when you floss; do not press the floss thread into your gum tissue.

8. Undernourishment

Deficiency of vitamin C due to undernourishment can lead to gum problems, such as scurvy. This causes sore and swollen gum and bleeding even when little pressure is exerted, for example during brushing. This may increase the risk of gum infection.

Home Remedies for Swollen Gums

Take a look at this practical list of swollen gums treatment at home that you can try easily:

1. Saltwater Rinse

For each sitting, a straightforward saltwater rinse with one or two teaspoons of salt dissolved in one cup of warm water should be sufficient. After allowing the salt to dissolve, people should give the combination a gentle tongue swirl for 30 seconds before spitting it out.

Rinsing as often as three times a day could aid in reducing transient edema.

2. Turmeric

Gum swelling may also benefit from the yellow spice known as turmeric, which is used in many Indian recipes.

Turmeric gel is useful for reducing gingivitis symptoms and controlling oral plaque. The scientists speculate that this might be because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Essential Oils

Certain essential oils have the potential to enhance overall dental health. More so than other pharmaceutical mouthwashes, these combined with essential oils aid patients with gingivitis in reducing plaque and inflammation.

It has been demonstrated that mouthwash with lemongrass oil reduces plaque. Furthermore, it proved more effective than a typical medicated mouthwash in reducing other gingivitis symptoms. However, the experts point out that more research is required.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a popular succulent plant grown for its medical benefits. Its antiinflammatory and antibacterial properties make it an easy swollen gums remedy. You can apply aloe gel to your gum or use an oral rinse enriched with aloe juice.

Although these remedies are natural and effective, consult a doctor immediately if you don’t experience relief from them. They may give you antibiotics, painkillers, supplements that reduce inflammation or perform a professional cleaning to improve gum health.

Final Word

Swollen gums can cause extreme pain and discomfort. If not treated, they can lead to poor oral hygiene, receding gums, and loose teeth. Once you have identified the symptoms of swollen gums, it is important to start the treatment. You can either use home remedies or visit a doctor for speedy relief and to prevent damage to gums and teeth.

By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Dr. Aarti Nehra is an M.B.B.S graduate and pursued Masters of Medical Science and Technology from IIT Kharagpur. She has worked as a consultant to provide services across the medical device and pharmaceutical industry. A cross-domain expert with experience in clinical practice, clinical marketing, competitive intelligence, market strategy and analysis, statistical analysis, scientific/medical writing, and medical research