Why Are My Gums Swollen?

November 21, 2022
woman showing her gums to a Port St. Lucie dentist

Are you paying enough attention to your gums? Many people are guilty of prioritizing their teeth, and their gum health is taken for granted. Many don’t realize that your gums are just as important as your teeth. If you visit your Port St. Lucie Dentist often, you’ll know just how essential gum tissues are to your oral health. How do you know when there’s a problem? Healthy gums should be firm and pinkish. But when your gums appear red and swollen, you’ve got a problem.

Port St. Lucie dentist checking the gums of a patient

What Causes Gum Swelling?

What Causes Swollen Gums?

The following are examples of factors that contribute to red, swollen, and painful gums:

  • Gingivitis (gum inflammation) 
  • Viral infection 
  • Food debris 
  • A side effect of certain medications 
  • Sensitivity to mouthwash or toothpaste 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Scurvy 
  • Ill-fitting dentures 
  • Malnutrition

How Should You Deal With Swollen Gums?

Swollen gums don’t necessarily require dental work right away. In most cases, they can revert to normal if you follow the proper brushing and flossing techniques. Your oral care routine is vital to keeping your gums in great shape. Dentists also recommend you follow a well-balanced diet that includes vegetables and fruits. As much as possible, avoid sugary food and drinks.

It will help if you avoid factors that can cause gum irritation, like tobacco, alcohol, and strong mouthwashes. If the swelling is caused by medication, you should talk to your doctor about it. They may change the medicine. But it’s important to discuss this with your doctor before stopping the meds.

woman smiling at her Port St. Lucie dentist during a dental exam

When Should You See a Port St. Lucie Dentist?

If your gums are still sore and swelling even after you’ve done your part, it’s time to see your dentist. Gum swelling that lasts for more than two weeks requires medical attention. At Ricard Family Dentistry, we will examine your mouth and gums and ask questions about your oral health so that our experienced staff can devise a tailored treatment plan to restore your gum health. Contact us today for an appointment.