When you look at your mouth and notice red, swollen gums, it’s natural to feel concerned. Inflamed or swollen gums can signal that something is wrong and needs to be treated immediately by qualified medical personnel. At such times, it’s quite natural to wonder–why are my gums swollen?

Swollen gums are a major dental health concern because they can negatively impact your teeth and leave you feeling self-conscious. Swollen gums often happen because of an infection, which occurs when the tissues around your mouth become inflamed as they try to fight off bacteria.

Join us as we do our best to answer your question–why are my gums swollen?

Why are My Gums Swollen? Let’s Find Out!

According to the CDC, nearly half of American adults have gum disease, making sore or inflamed gums a regular occurrence.

The gums are typically swollen due to an infection or other factors like pregnancy, ill-fitted dentures, or scurvy. However, they can also be caused by malnutrition and certain mouth infections like gingivitis.

Various factors that lead to swollen gums are discussed below:

  • Gingivitis or Periodontal Disease:

Swollen gums are typically caused by gingivitis. In most cases, gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene. This allows plaque to build up on your teeth and creates a perfect environment for bacterial growth, leading to more severe conditions like periodontitis or tooth loss!

Plaque is a layer of bacteria and food debris that builds up on teeth over time. Tartar develops if plaque is left on the teeth for a longer period of time.

The symptoms of gingivitis may be mild, making them go unnoticed until someone has had this condition for a while. It is usually detected at a later stage. Therefore, the best action plan for us is to follow good oral hygiene habits (brush and floss twice daily) to stop plaque from building up on our plates again.

  • Mouth Ulcers:

Canker sores typically have a whitish center and red ridges and can be uncomfortable. These types of mouth ulcers can occur in persons who are already vulnerable to autoimmune diseases. This is because infection in this area is more difficult for their bodies to fight off.

  • Vigorous Tooth Brushing and Flossing:

In addition to poor dental hygiene, pregnancy can result in swollen gums. Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy may cause blood to flow directly to the location of gum hypertrophy, speeding up the swelling of the gums.

Pregnancy is not the time for lazy dental care; instead, you should brush twice daily and look for gum inflammation or disease symptoms.

  • Nutritional Deficiencies:

The availability and types of vitamins in our body also influence oral health. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the maintenance and repair of your teeth. If you don’t get enough vitamin C, you can develop scurvy which can cause gum problems or swollen gums in adults over fifty-five.

  • Ill-Fitted Braces:

Getting your braces done hardly requires 1 or 2 hours, but they may leave rough margins along the edge of your teeth. This allows space for plaque and bacteria to grow, making these areas inflamed and spreading infection deep within the gum tissue. It eventually leads to swollen gums!

What are the Best Treatment Options for Swollen Gums?

What are the Best Treatment Options for Swollen Gums

Gum disease can be uncomfortable, but it rarely causes as much harm or danger. To avoid experiencing this again soon, you should visit your dentist for a checkup and try at-home methods to soothe painful swollen gums following treatment.


Swollen gums need to be handled with care. Following are some pointers for at-home care:

  • Brush and floss your teeth lightly to avoid irritating your gums.
  • To get rid of bacteria, rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution.
  • Avoid irritants, including smoke, alcohol, and strong mouthwashes.
  • To relieve gum discomfort, apply a warm compress to your face.
  • Get plenty of water. Drinking water will increase salivation, which weakens disease-causing germs in the mouth.

In-Office Treatment

If your dentist determines that you have had gum disease for more than two weeks, they will ask you questions about when the symptoms began and how often they occur.

Your doctor might recommend blood tests to check if there is an infection or other medical conditions related to swollen gums.

They may also recommend oral rinses, which can help prevent future cases of periodontal (gum) deterioration, such as plaque buildup on teeth due to poor brushing habits. Various treatments provided by dentists at the office may include, if necessary:

  • Surgery
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Medicated Mouthwashes

Prevention: The steps mentioned below can help you keep sore gums at bay:

  • Use Fluoride Toothpaste: To keep your smile healthy, you should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and use dental floss every day.

You’ll also need to see a dentist periodically so they can check for signs of cavities or other issues that might be affecting gum health before it becomes an issue!

  • Maintain Dental Hygiene: Carefully brush your teeth after every meal to reduce the risk of plaque buildup and tartar. Visit a dentist at least once per month for cleaning, and check in with them if you’re experiencing other symptoms like dry mouth caused by certain health conditions or medications, which can increase dental problems over time.
  • Improve Diet and Lifestyle: The best way to keep your gums healthy is by making lifestyle changes. Cut back on sugary food and drinks, making teeth more susceptible to decay. Be sure you eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables (and other yummy things)! Quitting smoking will also help reduce the risk of developing swollen gums.

Why Are My Gums Swollen? Ask the Experts at Osseo Family Dental Today!

Do you have swollen and red gums and live in Osseo, MN, or nearby areas? Then it is the right time to arrange a checkup with the highly skilled and proficient doctors at Osseo Family Dental.

We especially recommend scheduling a check-up if you haven’t seen a dentist in more than six months. Contact us to schedule an appointment or visit our office for a proper diagnosis and treatment for your swollen gums.