Woman getting checked for why her gums might be swollen

Swollen Gums? Exploring Causes of Pain from Gum Inflammation

Swollen gums are not only painful, they are also a tell-tale sign of oral health issues that need to be addressed. Basically, if gums are not firm, pink, and pain-free, this is a good indicator that a visit to the dentist is in order before the condition worsens.

Additionally, there are several common causes for swollen gums.

Gum Disease

Otherwise known as periodontal disease, gum disease typically begins with gingivitis – a condition in which the gums become red or swollen. And this is often due to poor dental hygiene. However, if gingivitis progresses into gum disease the gums may begin bleeding and deteriorating and eventually pulling away from the teeth. If this progression continues, teeth and bone loss could occur.

Poor Nutrition

The gums are affected by the foods we eat. As such, if foods that do not contribute to optimal dental health are being consumed, this can affect both the teeth and the gums. For example, a high sugar or high acid diet can not only be corrosive to the teeth and gums, it can also cause inflammation and lead to painful chewing and bleeding of the gums.

Oral Infections

Swollen gums may be a sign of oral infection. And the most common oral infections are viral or fungal, such as herpes or oral thrush. If an oral infection is present, a dentist will identify the infection and provide a path for treatment of the infection going forward.

Smoking and Alcohol Consumption

Chronic smoking and drinking can wreak havoc on gums and teeth. For example, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream and this can affect the gums by depleting the necessary oxygen in the blood to fight infection. Additionally, alcohol can dry out the mouth and decrease saliva production. This means that bacteria are better able to stick to the teeth and gums and cause infection.

Health Centered Dentistry in Alaska offers help with the prevention and treatment of gum disease. If you believe you’re developing gum disease or wish to speak to an experienced dentist, schedule an appointment at Health Centered Dentistry today.

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