Your gums are very important to your oral health. The gums are made of firm, pink tissue that covers your jawbones. This tissue is thick, fibrous, and full of blood vessels. If your gums become swollen, they may protrude, or bulge out. Swelling of your gums usually begins where the gum meets the tooth. Your gums may become so swollen, however, that they begin to hide parts of your teeth. Swollen gums usually are red instead of their normal pink color.

Swollen gums around tooth, also called gingival swelling, are often irritated, sensitive, or painful. You may also notice that your gums bleed more easily when brushing or flossing your teeth. This is a common problem, and can have a number of different causes. If you are suffering from gum swelling that lasts longer than a few days, you should contact your dental professional.

Swollen Gums around Tooth Causes

Swollen gums around tooth causes

Swollen gums around tooth

There are a few reasons a gum can swell in one area, including an abscessed tooth, gum disease and improper brushing or flossing. Here are some causes of this common problem and what to do if it happens to you.

Hygienic issues

Swollen gum around tooth in your mouth may be because you didn’t brush or floss correctly, which can leave behind food debris that causes decay and inflammation in the neglected area of the gum. Over time, this inadequate oral hygiene can cause gum disease as well. Be on the lookout for pale, red or swollen gums, bleeding while brushing, pus coming from the tooth, a loose tooth or persistent bad breath and taste.

Gum Disease

A common known cause for a swollen gum around one tooth is gum disease. This is a prevalent condition for which you should be on guard each time you brush. 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.

Abscessed Tooth

This condition also a very common cause of local gum swelling and indicates you have an infection in or around your tooth. Usually this can come from an untreated cavity that causes bacteria to spread throughout your tooth and infect it. Abscessed tooth can cause irritation and ultimately cost you the tooth if left untreated.

Its symptoms include throbbing pain, red or swollen gums around tooth, a swollen jaw or face, a tender or sore tooth, a fever and even a salty taste in your mouth. However, treatment is required for an abscessed tooth. Therefore, 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.

Gingivitis

This is the most common condition when it comes to swollen gums. It’s a gum disease that causes your gums to become irritated and swollen. Many people don’t know they have gingivitis because the symptoms can be quite mild. However, if it’s left untreated, gingivitis can eventually lead to a much more serious condition called “periodontitis” and possible tooth loss.

Gingivitis may result from poor oral hygiene, which allows plaque to build up on the gum line and teeth. Plaque is a film composed of bacteria and food particles deposited on the teeth over time. If plaque remains on the teeth for more than a few days, it becomes tartar, which is harder than plaque.

Pregnancy

Swollen gums can also occur during pregnancy. The hormonal changes in your body that occur during pregnancy may increase the blood flow in your gums. This increase in blood flow can cause your gums to be more easily irritated, leading to swelling. These hormonal changes can also hinder your body’s ability to fight off bacteria that typically cause gum infections. This can increase your chance of developing gingivitis.

Malnutrition

When you are deficient in vitamins, especially vitamins B and C, can increase the chances of developing swollen gums around tooth. Vitamin C, for example, plays an important role in the maintenance and repair of your teeth and gums. If your vitamin C levels drop too low, you could develop scurvy. Scurvy can cause anemia and gum disease.

Infection

Infections caused by fungi and viruses can potentially cause swollen gums. If you have herpes, it could lead to a condition called acute herpetic gingivostomatitis, which causes swollen gums. Thrush, which is the result of an overgrowth of naturally occurring yeast in the mouth, can also cause gum swelling. Untreated dental decay can lead to a dental abscess, which is localized gum swelling.

Medications

If you have recently started taking medication, your swollen gums may be a side effect of the drug. Talk to your doctor about your side effects to the medication, and find out if there are alternatives.

Brand switch

If you have recently changed your brand of toothpaste or mouthwash, you may be having a reaction to one of the ingredients. This is more often to people who are very sensitive to allergic reactions. Always stick to what you are used to if you have this problem.

There are many other possible causes and contributors to gum inflammation, so discussing your symptoms with your dentist is the best way to get an accurate and complete diagnosis.

How to Prevent Swollen Gums around tooth

Not only brushing your teeth twice a day; flossing in between your teeth and using an effective is enough. In addition, make sure you’re brushing, flossing and rinsing with proper tools and technique. If you have a large space between two teeth, for instance, an interdental brush can help clean in between them.

To add on that, you should be going for your dental check-ups at least twice a year not only so your dentist can check the overall health of your teeth, but whether you have swollen gums around tooth or have receded gums.

A healthy mouth and beautiful smile depend on how much care you put into both your teeth and gums. Start with oral care at home and follow it up with semi-annual dentist visits to make sure your mouth health is uninterrupted from ear to ear.

Swollen Gums around wisdom Tooth

Causes of swollen gums around tooth

Swollen gums around wisdom tooth

Pericoronitis is a condition which occurs when a part of the tooth breaks partially through the gum. Plaque and food gets caught underneath this and remains there. This causes irritation and swelling of the gum tissue and infection. If left unattended, the infection and swelling can extend to the neck and cheek regions as well.

If you are suffering swollen gums around tooth, the following parts can be a great help for you to relieve your discomforts.

Causes of Swollen Gum around Wisdom Tooth

Natural reaction of the body to infection is to supply the affected part with oxygen rich blood, red blood cells and nutrients to hasten the healing. Pain and swelling occurs because the small blood vessels in the area expand to increase the blood flow to the area. This is the same reaction that happens when the gums around the wisdom tooth swell.

Apart from pericoronitis, gingivitis can cause swollen gums around wisdom tooth, which is caused by the presence of plaque or bacterial biofilms sticking to the tooth surfaces. The lesions can be caused due to viral, bacteria, fungal or genetic causes. The gum tissue gets stretched over the connective tissue and gets inflamed, swollen and appear shiny, which will bleed easily when flossing or brushing.

Other causes of gum pain can be impaction, infection, tooth decay, cysts and pain due to pressure. The following are some conditions that swollen gums around tooth may occur:

  • When the wisdom tooth doesn’t fully grow but breaks out from the gums, the condition is called impacted tooth.
  • When an erupted wisdom tooth is covered with a flap of skin, gum infection like pericoronitis occurs.
  • When the tooth begins to die, tooth decay occurs.
  • Small pockets of fluid called cysts also form near the wisdom tooth.
  • When the wisdom tooth erupts through gums, pressure pain occurs.

Swollen Gum around One Tooth no Pain

There are some cases you may have a swollen gum that has no pain. Should you get worried? For some instance, that may not be a cause for alarm, maybe it is just a small injury that may have occurred while you were carrying out your normal daily oral hygiene. However, do not assume such conditions just like that.

For instance, if the swollen gums around tooth start developing white spots or patches hence with no pain, it might be an infection called leukoplakia. This condition is usually painless and it may be seen with swollen whitish gums. For this, you have to be concerned as it may develop to a more serious problem. You can visit your dentist who may advise you on the right antibiotics to use on such conditions.

Swollen Gum behind back tooth no Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth do not always emerge into the mouth properly because there may not be enough room in the mouth for them to fit. Sometimes, a part of the tooth may remain covered by a flap of gum. Food particles and bacteria can get trapped under this flap and cause a mild irritation, a low-grade infection called pericoronitis and swelling. This usually happens with the lower wisdom teeth.

What to do for this condition

You cannot treat pericoronitis at home. If you recognize the symptoms, get treatment right away. The symptoms may include:

  • A bad taste in the mouth — this often happens when there is an infection.
  • Bad breath(halitosis) – more so from the swollen gums around tooth
  • Pain in the area around your back teeth — Pericoronitis usually occurs around the wisdom teeth.
  • Swelling behind the very back teeth — if you have pericoronitis, you’ll notice that the gum tissue in the back of your mouth is swollen. This swelling may not allow you to bite comfortably without pinching the swollen tissues between your teeth.
  • Not being able to open your mouth full.

Swollen Gums in Back of Mouth

Swollen gums around the tooth causes

Swollen gums at the back of mouth

If you are teen and you have not developed molar teeth, you may experience this problem. All teeth usually never emerge at the same time. As you continue to grow, your jaw bone continue to increase in length as well. This provide enough space for the eruption of molar teeth that had not yet grown while you were younger due to space limitation.

When this time comes, you may experience swollen gums at the back of your mouth which usually is accompanied with a mild pain. The swollen gums may eventually break with time to allow the teeth to grow up.

Swollen Gums around Tooth Home Remedy

Swelling of the gums is a common problem. The tissue that forms the gums is thick, fibrous and full of blood vessels. Hence, when there is swelling, the gums may protrude or bulge out and appear red instead of their normal pink.

You can soothe the pain and swelling of gums with proper oral hygiene and home remedies. However, if you have swollen gums and symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your dentist.

Home remedies to reduce swollen gums around tooth.

Warm and Cold Compresses

Warm and cold compresses can provide quick relief for sore, swollen gums as they help reduce pain and swelling. You need to hold the compresses against your face, not directly on the swollen gums.

Salt Water

Salt is another effective remedy for swollen gums around tooth. It inhibits growth of bacteria in the mouth and prevents infections that may contribute to several oral health issues.

  • After brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush, gently rub your gums with salt for a few seconds. Rinse it off with warm water. Do this once daily. After your gums are healthy again, do this 3 times a week to prevent recurrence.
  • Another option is to add ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and use it to rinse your mouth twice daily until the swelling subsides.

Clove Oil

Clove oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in relieving inflammation of gums and reduces pain. Clove oil on cotton placed near the tooth for an hour will be helpful in reducing swelling.

Camphor

Wrapping camphor in cotton and placing near the wisdom tooth can cause numbing effect on the painful gums. You can place this till it dissolves in the mouth.

Oral Numbing Gel

These gels are available OTC for topical application on the affected area. The gel will provide relief from unbearable pain only temporarily.

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is the very essential part of home care. Brush your teeth with soft toothbrush, especially those affected part. Flossing helps in removing food particles and medicated mouthwash helps in controlling infection.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can also help reduce swollen gums around tooth inflammation and pain. It can even help kill germs and fight oral problems. For oral health, use food grade, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution only.

  • Mix equal parts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution and water. Swish the solution around your gums and teeth for 30 seconds. Rinse it off with warm water.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Rub this paste on your gums, wait 1 minute and then rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

Turmeric

Turmeric is also a good home remedy for swollen gums around tooth. It contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. In addition, it prevents the spread of bacterial activity that causes several oral problems

  • Mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little water to make a paste
  • Apply this paste on the gums with your clean finger.
  • Leave it on for 5 minutes, then massage gently for 1 minute.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Repeat twice daily for 1 to 2 weeks.

Black Tea Bags

Black tea bags have tannins that can help reduce inflammation of the swollen gums around tooth. In addition, its antioxidant properties promote good oral health.

  • Steep a tea bag in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove it and allow it to cool to a bearable temperature.
  • Hold the tea bag on the affected area of your gums for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water solution.
  • Repeat once daily for a few days.

Aloe Vera

Another effective remedy to treat swollen and bleeding gums is aloe vera. This herb has anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial properties that can prevent the growth of plaque- causing bacteria in the mouth and soothe inflamed gums.

How to treat Swollen Gums

How to cure swollen gums

Swollen gums treatment

Some causes of gum pain, like medications and illness, will need to be treated with more comprehensive medical care. See your dentist for your regular check-up and he or she can refer you to this health care professional. Or, if you just started taking a new medication and notice gum pain creep in, talk to your doctor about alternatives, or even altering your dosage.

Depending on the cause of your swollen gums around tooth, your dentist may prescribe oral rinses that help prevent gingivitis and reduce plaque. Your dentist may also recommend that you use a specific brand of toothpaste. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary.

If you have an extreme case of gingivitis, you may need surgery. One common treatment option is scaling and root planing. This is a procedure in which the dentist scrapes away diseased gums, dental plaque, and calculus, or tartar, on the roots of the teeth to allow the remaining gums to heal.

Eat Cold Foods

Provided the sensitive hasn’t spread to your teeth, cold foods can help reduce swelling and numb the pain of swollen gums. Therefore, try noshing on a freezer pop or eating a few frozen grapes to help calm the pain and swelling naturally.

Find Relief

There are a number of thing you can carry out, and a few things you should not do, to ease your discomfort and decrease the swelling in your gums.

What to do

  • Brush and floss regularly. If the root cause of your gum swelling is gingivitis, good oral hygiene is the first step to recovery.
  • Improve your diet. Add some extra fruits and vegetables to your diet, and avoid caffeinated beverages and sodas for a while.
  • Rinse your mouth with a salt water solution. This can ease the pain of inflamed gums.
  • See your dentist! Be sure to make an appointment if your gum irritation persists. A dental professional can determine the exact cause of the swelling, and help you improve the health of your teeth and gums faster.

Things not to do

  • Don’t continue to use toothpastes and mouthwashes that irritate your gums. Mouthwash that contains alcohol may irritate swollen gums. Change your toothpaste if you find it is hurting the affected area.
  • Don’t use alcohol and tobacco, since both those substances can irritate your gums further.
  • Don’t ignore the problem. Begin taking action to help reduce the swelling, and see a professional to ensure the swelling in your gums isn’t a symptom of something more serious.

Medicine for Swollen Gums over the Counter

If your gums are swollen for more than two weeks, you should talk to your dentist. Your dentist will ask questions about when your symptoms began and how often they occur. Full mouth dental X-rays may be needed. They’ll also want to know if you’re pregnant or if you’ve had any recent changes in your diet. They may order blood tests to check for an infection.

Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication

Because inflammation can aggravate the nerves in your jaw, much of the pain associated with swollen gums around tooth is actually due to the swelling itself. Taking an anti-inflammatory medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help you find relief in the interim so you don’t incur further damage before seeing your doctor or dentist.

Try Benzocaine

A product that contains benzocaine, can be applied topically to provide numbing relief from sore gums. Although it’s only a temporary solution, it can help soothe painful gums so you have the time and focus to treat one of the five true causes of the swelling.

Swollen gums around tooth can definitely be a pain, but you shouldn’t have to keep altering your home care to address the problem. Once you’ve found the issue, you can work to solve it while finding ways to help cope with the pain until you’re better.

More references

  1. Causes of swelling on gums:
  2. What to do about gum swelling:
  3. Causes of swollen gums;
  4. Swollen gums around wisdom tooth:
  5. Dental health and pericoronitis:
  6. Home remedies to reduce gum swelling:
  7. Antibiotics for gum disease: