What does it mean when Gums are Puffy?

One of the most common problems your dentist sees is puffy or swollen gums. Healthy gums are not puffy and do not bleed. Pink, red or even slightly pale: the color of the gums can vary depending on the state of health. Typically, light pink to dark pink gums are a sign of health, while red gums indicate sensitivity or inflammation. Puffy or swollen gums can be a symptom of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) but also a symptom of a nutritional deficiency or an ongoing infection. When one or more of these occur, the gums swell and, in many cases, they can become bulging and red. If you are pregnant, swollen gums can be a sign of increased blood flow.

It can happen very often to have inflamed, swollen or bleeding gums, a condition that is commonly called "gingivitis". Gingivitis is an inflammatory process that affects the gums. This process can be really annoying and if left untreated it can lead to complications. Fortunately, gingivitis can be treated with some precautions and by contacting your trusted dentist.

What are the causes of swollen gums and why do you feel pain?

Many patients during visits ask us: "why do I have swollen and inflamed gums?" As with almost all things in the medical field there is no single and univocal answer, but each case must be carefully evaluated on a case by case basis. We can say that in most cases the main cause of swollen gums is bacterial plaque due to poor daily oral hygiene. Not brushing your teeth or neglecting hygiene increases the accumulation of plaque and tartar which affect the gingival inflammation process through bacterial infection. In addition to poor hygiene, there are other conditions that cause swelling of the gums such as the use and abuse of smoking and alcohol, diabetes and prolonged use of some drugs that can worsen the state of inflammation. There are other causes than such as the presence of tooth decay and malnutrition.

We can therefore briefly summarize the causes of swollen and inflamed gums:

  • gingivitis: presence of a bacterial infection that causes swelling and bleeding of the gums very often due to poor oral hygiene.
  • cavities: if you neglect a tooth that has a cavity, it can lead to gingivitis, inflammation, and even serious complications.
  • malnutrition: this aspect affects not only the gums but also the entire health of the body

The different diseases that can be associated with swollen gums are the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Scurvy

What happens if we neglect gingivitis?

In addition to the discomfort caused by swollen and bleeding gums, neglecting gingivitis can lead to serious complications such as the presence of periodontitis, which can completely undermine the health of our mouth and teeth.

We remind you that periodontitis is a disease that leads to tooth loss and in the most severe cases of total edentulism (loss of all teeth). In severe cases of gingivitis, your dentist may undergo a treatment called gum curettage. Gingival curettage is a deeper cleaning of the teeth than traditional professional oral hygiene which aims to eliminate bacteria present in the gum area.

COVID 19 and Gums