Gum Swollen around One Tooth

Patients can experience a swollen gum around a single tooth. While it may seem strange, it is not all that uncommon and may be associated with a variety of different conditions which cause the gum to swell around a tooth. This may be caused by poor oral hygiene, the presence of gum disease, or an abscess.

Oral Hygiene

When patients fail to consistently practice good oral hygiene, food debris is left behind. This can cause inflammation and decay. Over time, this can progress into gum disease. Below are various signs that a patient may have poor dental hygiene practices:

  • Pale or red gums
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Bleeding during routine activities such as eating or brushing
  • Presence of pus around a tooth
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth

Gum Disease

When the bacteria is not managed, it can infect the gum tissue which surrounds the teeth. This infection can then result in inflammation, and ultimately lead to periodontal disease. Some of the common signs of gum disease can include the following:

  • Gums which are tender or bleed
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Teeth which are loose
  • Gums that pull away from teeth and leave pockets


Abscesses in the mouth are often caused by a cavity which has not been treated which allows bacteria to infect the teeth. Some of the symptoms commonly associated with an abscessed tooth include pain, swollen gums, swollen jaw and a fever.

If you experience these symptoms and think you may have an abscessed tooth, follow up with your dentist. Medical intervention is required to treat the infection. If it remains untreated, the infection can spread to the jawbone and cause serious health issues.

Gum disease

Even healthy mouths contain bacteria. When bacteria is combined with mucus in the mouth, plaque can form on the teeth. Plaque that is not properly removed through regular brushing and flossing, can harden into tartar. Tartar is very difficult to remove and typically requires a visit to the dentist.

The buildup of plaque and tartar can then progress and result in gum disease. The mildest form of gum disease is called gingivitis. This type of gum disease often includes gums which are red, swollen, and bleed easily. When it remains untreated, gingivitis can progress into the more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. Common signs of periodontitis include loose teeth, increased sensitivity, discomfort when chewing, and swollen, red gums which may bleed.

The gums can also can pull away from the teeth. This allows for easy access to the bacteria which can cause infection. In the most severe cases, the soft tissues and bone which holds the teeth in place is damaged resulting in teeth which are loose or may even fall out.


It is critical for patients to practice good oral hygiene in order to prevent issues such as swollen gums. Good oral hygiene includes brushing at least twice each day, daily flossing, and regular visits to the dentist for an examination and professional cleaning.

Contact your dentist if you experience swollen gums. They can help determine if the swelling is caused by gum disease, poor dental hygiene, or an abscess. Visit your dentist to make sure that your swollen gum is properly treated.

How Long Do Swollen Gums Last?