3 Dental Causes and Treatments for Gum Swelling

20 July 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Your gums are a vital soft tissue that provides protective support for the roots of your teeth. Swelling in your gums is often a minor problem or a sign of the common periodontal disease gingivitis, which can be cured with a simple cleaning at the dentist. But sometimes the cause of gum swelling is a bit more complicated and involves more in-depth treatment or lifestyle changes to cure.

Here are a few of the dental causes and treatments for gum swelling.

Tooth Abscess

Harmful bacteria in the mouth can build up and cause an infection. When this infection enters a tooth through its root, an abscess can develop. An abscessed tooth presents with pain and swelling in the gums around the base of the infected tooth.

Your dentist can treat the infection with an antibiotic. Depending on the severity of the swelling, your dentist might have to cut into the gums and drain out the infected material. You will be provided antiseptic treatments as aftercare to prevent infection from taking hold in the gum tissue as it heals.

Left untreated, the swelling gums can create a fistula, or a tunnel through the jawbone. This tunnel gives the infected material access to your sinus and bloodstream, which can lead to a potentially fatal condition called sepsis.

Improperly Fitting Dentures

Full or partial dentures involve a plate that sits snugly over your gums. Partial dentures are often held into place with metal clips that fit around existing teeth. Full dentures only have your gum-covered jawbone for support. But an improper fit for either type of denture can lead to swollen gums.

You will need to visit your denturist to have your set refitted or to have denture repair to stop the friction. Until your new set arrives, you can use a topical numbing agent or alternated hot and cold packs to reduce the swelling and diminish the pain.

Consider asking a denturist for implant-supported dentures. These utilize a jawbone-inserted metal root that the dentures snap onto, which provides a far more stable base than your gums alone. Search for dentures in Calgary to find a professional near you.

Lifestyle Issues

Swollen gums can happen due to foods you ingest, medications you're on, or because you've been stressed out. The swelling can also be due to a reaction of a new oral healthcare product you're using.

Ask your dentist or doctor if any of your medications can cause gum swelling. Avoid tobacco use, spicy or acidic food or drink, and excess stress. Use a gentle hand when brushing and flossing and avoid overly sharp foods that might injure the gums.