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Causes of Swollen Gums

Causes of Swollen Gums

Swollen gums can be caused by different factors. However, irrespective of the causative factor, this condition needs to be treated as soon as possible, because it can spearhead infection throughout the body.
Priya Johnson
The condition of abnormally large, bulging, or protruding gums is quite a common phenomenon. Sometimes the swelling may be so severe, that it even hides the teeth from view. A person with swollen gums will experience severe pain, which is also accompanied by bad breath. The color of the gums changes from fresh pink to flushing red, and is vulnerable to bleeding, even by slight provocations.
Plaque Buildup
Due to poor oral hygiene, a thin film of food and bacteria, called plaque develops on the teeth surface. The long-term effect of plaque deposition on the exposed parts of the teeth is tooth decay, which if not treated results in irritated and inflamed gums. The bacteria and toxins produced by plaque causes the gums to get swollen, infected, and tender. This condition is called gingivitis and is a form of periodontal disease. The swelling is actually caused by the accumulation of white blood cells and fluids in the gums, due to their efforts of fighting the bacteria.
Vitamin C Deficiency
Lack of vitamin C in the body can result in mouth ulcers and swollen gums. Scurvy, the condition of bleeding gums is caused due to a deficiency of vitamin C. Lack of other B vitamins, folic acid, and calcium can also cause the gums to swell. Malnutrition can also cause this condition, so it is important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Herpes Virus
Kissing or having oral sex with a partner who is carrying sexually transmitted herpes virus can result in swollen gums. Blisters are also seen to develop on the gums and tongue. This can be extremely painful.
Stuck Food Particles
Sometimes food particles seem to get lodged between the gums and the teeth, which may cause swelling in a particular area. If the particle is quickly removed, the swelling will subside, however, if the infection has begun, then, it needs to be treated to reduce the swelling.
Use of Strong Toothpastes
Sometimes strong toothpastes and alcohol-based mouthwashes cause the gums to swell. To prevent such swelling, one should minimize the use of strong oral products and resort to natural-based tooth care products.
Poor-fitting Dentures
Due to small movements made due to poorly-fitting dentures, the gums can swell. In such cases, the dentist needs to be consulted to remove the dentures. Moreover, people with poorly done tooth cavity fillings and braces often have food particles trapped between the teeth and have rostrums for the bacteria to grow.
Pregnancy
During pregnancy (1st or 2nd trimester), the blood circulation in the body to the gums increases, due to the high levels of progesterone and estrogen. This causes the gums to become sensitive, swollen, and red. This also happens a lot during puberty.
Besides the above-mentioned list of causes, some of the other causes are infection by a virus or fungus, side effects of a drug such as dilantin or phenobarbital, swollen tonsils, leukemia, abnormal growth, tumors, or some other serious gum diseases.
Depending on the causes, the treatment will vary. Once the root cause has been dealt with, the swelling will subside. Since periodontal diseases can result in teeth loss, it is important to have the dentist check and treat you. Moreover, the infection in the gums can spread to the rest of the body, via the blood stream. Therefore, it is essential to consult the dentist as soon as possible. To prevent recurrence of the condition, one needs to practice good oral hygiene. Wash your mouth after eating and drinking, and brush and floss twice a day.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.