Ways to Reduce Swelling in Gums
Most of us don’t love cleaning or doing maintenance. Whether it’s washing dishes, cleaning the house, or practicing good oral hygiene, it can be tedious and boring. However, we do it all for a good reason: without maintenance, things would break, and you’d have to deal with the underlining consequences. Likewise, neglecting your oral hygiene will lead to a decline in your oral health. In this article, Dr. Kacos, an emergency dentist in Shreveport, LA, shares some ways to reduce swelling gums.
Bleeding and swelling in the gums is one of the most common dental conditions, affecting more than 50% of American adults. In most cases, swollen gums or gingival swelling can be treated at home. Your gums will look and feel swollen, sometimes swelling so much that they begin to hide parts of your teeth.
Swollen gums will also have a red tinge to them, instead of their normal pink color. They will be irritated, sensitive, and painful, and will usually bleed more easily when brushing or flossing your teeth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Kacos, the best dentist in Shreveport LA.
What Causes Swollen Gums?
Inflammation, swelling, and bleeding of the gums can be a common side effect of gum disease. Gingivitis is a milder form of gum disease, and you may experience bleeding of the gums when you brush or floss. Although gingivitis is mild, Shreveport’s dentist Dr. Kacos says it is important to treat it as soon as possible. If left unchecked, it will progress to a more serious type of gum disease called periodontitis. At this advanced stage, your swollen gums will be more painful, and your teeth may begin coming loose as the periodontitis damages the tissue holding your teeth in place.
Gingivitis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. The food debris on your teeth and gums provides nourishment for bacteria in the mouth, resulting in the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. Tartar is hardened plaque, and it irritates the gums, eventually leading to gingivitis.
Gingivitis During Pregnancy
Dr. O’Grady, a Denver, CO dentist, explains that swollen gums can also occur during pregnancy as the rush of hormones increases blood flow to the gums. This makes them easily irritated, and it can lead to gum disease. The hormonal changes also hinder your body’s ability to fight off bacteria, increasing your chances of developing gingivitis. A diet deficient in Vitamin B and C can cause swelling of the gums and viral and fungal infections.
Treatment for Swollen Gums
Swollen gums can be treated quite easily if they are caught early, says Dr. Kacos, an emergency dentist in Shreveport, LA. Here are some of the things you can do at home to reduce mild swelling and get your teeth and gums back in good health:
Work on Your Brushing Technique
If you brush your teeth too hard, you will damage the tissue around them, leading to inflamed gums. Dr. Kacos recommends brushing gently using a brush with soft, nylon bristles to ensure you don’t harm your gums. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you can use a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. You can also use anti-gingivitis toothpaste designed to reach and neutralize plaque bacteria around the gum line.
Floss Gently But Diligently.
The food particles between your teeth may be hard to reach with a toothbrush, and they can result in plaque and tartar buildup. Floss after meals to ensure this food debris is removed. However, be very gentle. Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown, KY, recommends carefully sliding the floss between your teeth rather than forcing it down and rubbing it against your gum.
Drink Water & Rinse.
Drink plenty of water and rinse your mouth regularly. This helps remove any lingering food particles and debris that can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, resulting in swollen gums. It will also stimulate the production of saliva, which weakens disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. Saltwater rinses will help rid your mouth of plaque-causing bacteria as well.
Use a mouthwash specially formulated for your gums, such as a gingivitis mouthwash, after each meal or snack. This will kill plaque-causing bacteria, thus reducing your chances of getting gingivitis or gum disease.
Avoid Irritating Your Mouth
Avoid irritants like alcohol, tobacco, and strong mouthwashes. Smoking tobacco weakens your immune response and makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. In case of any gum damage, smoking will inhibit blood flow to the gums and make it harder for them to heal. Additionally, treatments for gum disease may not work well for people who smoke tobacco.
Visit Your Dentist in Shreveport, LA
Getting professional teeth cleanings regularly at a dental office in Shreveport, LA, coupled with daily brushing and flossing, will help reduce gingival swelling. In severe cases, it may require deep cleaning below the gum line, surgery to remove tartar deep under the gums. Do you suffer from swollen gums? Is it some other oral issue that requires professional assistance? Whether it’s oral surgery, tooth extractions or root canals, Shreveport’s dentist Dr. Kacos is happy to help. Contact us today for a consultation.