Swollen Gums: Causes and Home Remedies to Treat Them

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Your elaborate brushing and flossing routine brings you a step closer to having pearly white teeth. However, unless you pay similar attention to your gums that hold your teeth in place, you will have some serious gum issues to deal with. In fact, gum swelling is one of the most common oral health problems.

Your gums are made of a firm, pink tissue that is thick, fibrous, and full of blood vessels, and it covers your entire jawbone. When your gums become swollen, you’ll notice that this swelling is more prominent in the area where the gum meets the tooth. If you leave the gum swelling unchecked, it escalates to the point that it hides parts of your teeth, and soon your healthy pink gums appear red. As uncomfortable as this condition sounds, there are some effective home remedies for gum swelling that can help alleviate the swelling and minimise the pain.

Causes of swollen gums

To find out the right swollen gums home remedy, you need to understand what causes swollen gums in the first place. The usual culprits are:

  • Gingivitis

    This condition that causes gum swelling and irritation stems from poor oral hygiene, and if left untreated it can cost you a tooth! If you aren’t consistent with your oral care routine, it allows plaque to build up on the gum line and teeth. If this plaque remains on the gum line for a few days, it eventually turns into tartar . As tartar is hardened plaque, you cannot get rid of it just by flossing or brushing. Most people aren’t aware that they have this gum condition as the symptoms are quite mild. If gingivitis goes undetected, it can give rise to a much more serious condition called periodontitis.

  • Infection

    A fungal or viral infection that occurs in the mouth can cause swollen gums. Infections like herpes or oral thrush (a yeast infection that affects the mouth) can cause a slew of symptoms that includes swollen gums. Also, complications that arise from infected teeth cause gum swelling.

  • Food particles stuck in the teeth

    When food particles get stuck in the teeth, they tend to cause irritation and swelling in that area. Usually, these symptoms do not last long, and you can get rid of the food particles nestled in your teeth when you brush or floss.

  • Pregnancy

    Your body goes through several changes during pregnancy and not all of them are pleasant. It’s common to experience gum swelling during pregnancy as the hormones your body produces during this period can increase the blood flow to the gums. This causes your gums to become more vulnerable to irritation, which eventually causes swelling. Moreover, even your immune system isn’t functioning to its optimum during pregnancy, which hinders your body’s ability to stave off bacteria that cause gum infections. This makes you more susceptible to developing gingivitis.

  • Other causes

    The less common causes of swollen gums include:

    • Wearing dentures, crowns, or other dental appliances that do not fit properly

    • Malnutrition

    • Side-effects from using certain medications

    • Sensitivity to ingredients used in oral products, such as mouthwash or toothpaste

How to prevent swollen gums?

You can follow these measures to prevent gum swelling and keep discomfort at bay.

  • Brush at least twice a day or after every meal as it keeps your teeth clean and gets rid of any food particles that get stuck between them. Try Oral-B iO 8 Ultimate Clean Electric Toothbrush, which has six smart modes to personalise your brushing experience and gives you a fresh and clean mouth feel. It is equipped with a Smart Pressure Sensor that turns red when you brush too hard and green when the pressure is just right. This is a convenient way to protect your gums when you brush.

  • Use a gentle toothpaste and mouthwash.

  • Floss regularly as it keeps the gaps between your teeth clean. This means, you are less likely to get gum infections or cavities that occur due to bacteria build-up. Try Oral-B Essential Floss, which has a shred-resistant texture and light wax coating that helps it slide easily between your teeth. Moreover, it is specially developed to be gentle on your gum line and fingers for healthier gums.

  • Avoid sugary drinks that can cause bacteria to build up in the mouth.

  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.

  • Avoid sharp foods, such as seeds, popcorns, or chips that can get stuck in the teeth and cause gum pain.

Home remedies to treat swollen gums

You can always rely on good oral hygiene to keep gum problems at bay. However, there are chances that you might still experience gum issues. In such cases, you can always depend on effective home remedies for gum swelling to treat the condition.

  • Saltwater to the rescue

    Rinse your gums with saltwater to soothe the inflammation and experience relief. According to a 2016 study rinsing gums with salt water can promote healing. So, follow these steps to prepare a saltwater rinse:

    • Add one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water for one sitting

    • Rinse your mouth with the solution for about 30 seconds

    • Spit it out. Do not swallow it

    • Repeat the process two to three times a day until the swelling goes away completely

  • Use turmeric gel

    Turmeric contains an ingredient called curcumin, which possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can help prevent plaque and gingivitis. Here’s what you should do

    • Rinse your mouth with fresh water after brushing your teeth

    • Apply turmeric gel to your gums and let it sit for about ten minutes

    • Now, swish freshwater around your mouth to rinse off the gelt

    • Spit it out and do not swallow it

    • Repeat the process twice a day until the swelling goes away

  • Try aloe vera

    Aloe vera, a tiny succulent plant, is known to possess amazing medicinal properties. Research indicates that you can use aloe vera gel to reduce the inflammation in the gums that are caused by gingivitis. You can either use an aloe vera gel or opt for a mouthwash that uses aloe vera as an active ingredient. All you must do is swish the product in your mouth for a couple of minutes to reduce the swelling in the gums.

When to go to the doctor?

Typically, the swelling in your gums subsides after you follow these home remedies for gum swelling diligently. However, you might have to consult a dentist if:

  • The gum pain interferes with eating or sleeping

  • The pain becomes persistent or intensifies

  • Other symptoms start occurring

You can avoid the unpleasant sensation that accompanies swollen gums if you start taking good care of them early on. A good oral care routine coupled with advanced dental products such as Oral-B electric toothbrushes can go a long way in keeping your gums and teeth healthy.

Read more about how to brush your teeth and other oral care tips.