Puffy or Bleeding Inflamed Gums
It is common for patients with swollen or inflamed gums to have quite a bit of pain and discomfort. While gum disease is the most common cause for inflamed gums, there are additional factors such as an incorrect brushing technique, aggressive flossing, using tobacco, chemotherapy, and other things which can cause the issue. About half of all American adults demonstrate early symptoms of gum disease. Inflamed gums are the most common symptom of gum disease. The following are two different types of gum disease which vary in severity:
- Gingivitis: a mild form of gum disease which exists in the early stages. Gum commonly causes inflamed gums which possibly bleed during routine activities including brushing and flossing. While gingivitis is not considered a serious form of gum disease, Prompt treatment of gingivitis is critical for ensuring it does not progress or cause permanent damage.
- Periodontitis: When gingivitis remains untreated, it can progress into the more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. This form of gum disease can result in serious and permanent consequences. With periodontitis, the inflammation of the gums is more chronic and may even cause the teeth to become loose when the tissue which secures the teeth becomes damage. Prompt treatment for periodontitis is critical.
With early intervention, gum inflammation is both treatable and reversible. The following can aid in treating inflamed gums, preventing it from reoccurring and help to ensure the maintenance of good oral hygiene:
- Brushing: The teeth should be brushed a minimum of twice daily, and should follow the last snack or meal. It is important to use the correct brushing technique as well. Use a soft toothbrush and avoid being too vigorous as it can cause damage and inflammation of the gums. A gentle brushing motion should be used to ensure the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
- Diet: When a balanced and nutritious diet is consumed, it also aids in improving oral health. Patients should be sure they are receiving sufficient amounts of Vitamin C and calcium. These vitamins play an important role in preventing swollen gums.
- Flossing: Flossing each day is also important in removing food particles. When debris is not removed, it can allow plaque and tartar to build-up, resulting in gum disease and inflammation. The floss should be gently slid between the teeth. Avoid using force as it cause gum damage.
- Managing Stress: Hormone levels can be effected when a patient experiences high levels of stress. More specifically, the hormone cortisol can fluctuate which can result in swelling and inflammation of the gums.
- Rinsing: Rinsing the mouth with water regularly helps to remove food particles, debris, and carbohydrates. These items can be particularly harmful as they cause plaque and gum disease. It is especially important to rinse out the mouth following the consumption of sugary foods or beverages.
- Toothpaste: Patients who have particularly sensitive teeth may benefit from using a toothpaste which is specially formulated to be less abrasive. It may also be beneficial to use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste which helps to neutralize plaque and delivers a deeper clean. When harmful plaque bacteria exists near the gum line, it can weaken the enamel. A healthy mouth begins with having healthy gums.
If you experience painful, swollen or inflamed gums, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. They can help to identify if there is an underlying cause and work with you to develop an effective treatment.