Puffy or Bleeding Inflamed Gums

Common causes of Swollen Gums

Inflamed and swollen gums are known to cause extreme discomfort.  While gum disease is considered the most common cause of inflammation, tobacco use, insufficient flossing and brushing, chemotherapy, dental hardware irritation, and changes in hormones, can also contribute to gum inflammation. And, since more than 50% of American adults are affected by early stages of gum disease, inflammation of the gums is very common.  Depending on how severely your gums are inflamed, you may be experiencing one of two kinds of gum disease: gingivitis or periodontitis.

Gingivitis:  While gingivitis is an early stage and fairly mild version of gum disease, it affects millions of Americans each year. Inflamed gums that bleed when you floss or brush is a common sign of gingivitis, but though it is reversible and not considered “serious”, it’s imperative to treat to it so that it doesn’t progress into periodontitis.

Periodontitis:  With periodontitis inflamed gums become more painful and teeth may become loose.  As periodontitis is a more serious type of gum disease, often tissues that hold your teeth in place have started becoming damaged. Treating periodontitis and gum inflammation is extremely important for the long-term health of your mouth and teeth.

Getting Rid of Gum Inflammation

Happily, inflammation of the gums is easily treated so that early gum disease can be reversed.

To treat inflammation take these steps to get your mouth and gums in optimal condition.

  • Brush less intensely to avoid hurting tissues around the teeth.  Use a brush with very soft, nylon bristles. Be gentile. Gently brush using a back and forth motion. Brush with a gum care formula tooth paste or a formula that addresses your specific issues, such as tooth sensitivity.  Pay attention to brushing around the gum lines, since having a healthy gum line is an essential part of keeping your mouth healthy.
  • Floss consistently and diligently. Flossing will remove food that stays in between your teeth that can cause build up of tartar and plaque. Again, be gentile. Slide the floss carefully between the teeth without forcing.
  • Rinse. Regular rinsing removes remains of food, and also removes plaque causing carbohydrates which are known to lead to gum disease. Rinse after each snack or meal. Mouthwash that is right for you gums is important, as well. For example, Crest Gum Care Mouthwash is one that neutralizes bacteria from plaque which in helps reduce early signs of gum disease.
  • Improve Nutrition. Well balanced diets support gum health. For example Vitamin C and Calcium can minimize swelling of the gums.
  • De-Stress. Hormone levels are impacted by stress, notably a hormone called cortisol, which can contribute to swelling and inflammation of the gums. Reduce stress whenever possible.

Remember, it is very important to visit the dentist if you do suffer from gum inflammation. Professional dental care can determine what is causing the inflammation and ensure you get the proper treatment for healthier gums.  Luckily, there are many ways to treat inflamed gums so there is no need to live with discomfort.

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