Thankfully, nearly everything in life comes with a warning system. Your weather app tells you when severe storms are moving in, your dashboard lights up when it’s time for a tune-up, and your phone’s battery tells you to charge up long before the device dies.
What’s better is that your body has a similar way of telling you something’s wrong.
If you notice your gums are swollen, that’s your first indication that it’s time to pop the hood on your oral health. But we don’t want you to panic, either.
Here, our team of expert dentists at Compassionate Endodontists New York/NYC, led by Dr. Steven Kaplan, shows you a few of the reasons why your gums are swollen and what you can do about it.
The main reason your gums swell is because of a condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when plaque, bacteria, and other harmful substances gather along and below your gum line and cause inflammation. If the plaque isn’t removed in time, it hardens into tartar, which triggers bleeding, swelling, and pain, eventually leading to an advanced form of gum disease (periodontal disease).
However, the worst-case scenario isn’t always the case. There’s a wide range of factors and underlying health conditions that can contribute to swollen gums, such as:
Sometimes, it’s just a pesky piece of food stuck in your gums causing them to swell or bleed.
Just because there are many reasons why your gums could be swollen, that doesn’t mean it’s no big deal. Bleeding gums are never normal and almost always require expert dental care. Swollen gums are more vulnerable to damage and can harbor more serious infections, which can wreak havoc on your oral and overall health.
Talk to us about when the swelling started and what seems to trigger it. Let us know if your swollen gums are accompanied by other symptoms like pain, sensitivity, and/or bleeding.
We can identify what’s causing your gums to swell and help you make adjustments to your oral health care routine to better support your gum health.
If we determine that periodontal disease is behind your swollen gums, our first step is usually to perform a deep clean of your gums. For severe gum inflammation, you may require a root canal. During a root canal, we carefully remove the decayed inner tissues of your tooth and then fill and seal it to protect it against further damage.
While there’s no way to guarantee your gums won’t become inflamed down the line, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk. The best place to start is with your oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice daily and using an antiseptic mouthwash are great ways to keep harmful substances away from your gums.
Don’t spend another day wondering about your gums. Take charge of your oral health and schedule an appointment with us online or over the phone.