What does it mean when Gums are Puffy?
In considering dental health, a common focus is to work on preventing cavities. It is equally important to ensure the gums are healthy as they play a critical role in both a patient’s dental health and general well-being. Gums which are swollen or bleeding are often an early sign of gum disease. A number of other conditions can also cause gum problems. Regardless of what is causing the gum issue, various things can be done to help make the gum damage more comfortable.
In some cases, patients use vigorous pressure when brushing their teeth. Because the gums are made of delicate tissue, brushing too aggressively can actually cause damage. With both a manual and electric toothbrush, opt for a brush with soft nylon bristles. Brushes exist which contain both medium and hard bristles, however, this can cause damage to the teeth’s enamel or result in swollen, red gums.
Be gentle and use a circular motion to properly clean the teeth and gums. The typical back-and-forth motion can cause irritation and damage to the gums. A firm, back-and-forth brushing technique can easily make the gums sore and cause them to bleed or even recede in extreme cases.
An important aspect of a good oral hygiene regimen includes daily flossing. This aids in the removal of plaque from places which the toothbrush is unable to clean. As with brushing, it is important to be gentle when flossing. Avoid forcing the floss between the teeth and be gentle to slide it up and down along the sides of the teeth.
Millions of American adults who are 35 years or older have periodontal disease at some point in their life. Most people have the early and less severe form of gum disease which is called gingivitis. An estimated 5-15% have the more serious form of gum disease which is called periodontitis.
When fail to practice good oral hygiene, bacteria is able to form plaque on the teeth. These bacteria can cause your inflammation of the gums. This can result in gums which are red, swollen, or even bleed. This inflammation associated with gingivitis is not typically painful. When gingivitis is detected early, it can typically be reversed and healed through improved oral hygiene. When gingivitis remains untreated, it can progress and in severe cases result in the loss of teeth. If you experience any of the below symptoms, follow up a dentist right away:
- A change in how the teeth fit together or a change in your bite
- Deep pockets form between the teeth and gums
- Bleeding of the gums during routine activities
- Teeth which are loose or shift
- Bad breath or foul taste in the mouth
- Gums which recede
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness in the gums
When gingivitis remains untreated and progresses, it can turn into periodontitis. This is a condition which impacts the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place. Bacteria on the teeth release a toxic substance which harms the gums and causes infection. The infection and inflammation from the body attacking the bacteria can cause additional damage to the gums and jaw bone. The gums may become extremely swollen, painful and even bleed. In severe cases, periodontitis can ultimately result in the loss of teeth.