Swollen and painful gums can be caused by a few different things. Since dental infections can sometimes be serious or lead to further complications, you should see your dentist when your gums are red, swollen, bleeding, or in pain. Here are some of the causes of this condition and how your dentist can help.
Gum disease is one of the leading causes of swollen gums. You'll probably have other symptoms, too, such as bleeding when you brush your teeth and possibly bad breath that won't go away. Your gums swell because they are irritated by plaque and bacteria in your mouth that develop due to poor hygiene. If you seek help for this condition early, your dentist may be able to reverse it with a deep cleaning that removes the infection under your gums. If the infection becomes advanced, you might need surgery to clear up the infection and improve the health of your mouth.
An abscess in your mouth can appear as a pimple on an inflamed area of your gum tissue. The pimple may eventually burst and leak pus from the abscess that's inside your gum. Another way an abscess manifests is with a very swollen gum that's usually accompanied by pain and a toothache. Your gum might be so swollen that it's visible to someone looking at your face. Any time you have an infection in your mouth, you need to see a dentist right away for treatment that might include antibiotics and a root canal. Infections can spread to other parts of your body through your bloodstream, so you don't want to ignore them and suffer from medical complications.
Stomatitis is an inflammation and redness of your gums that's caused by a variety of things, such as irritation or infection. This condition can develop if you wear dentures and don't clean them properly. Denture wearers often develop stomatitis caused by a fungus. The condition can also be caused by a virus or bacteria. Your dentist can offer suggestions for good oral hygiene that prevents and treats the problem, especially when your gums are sore. In addition, your dentist may prescribe medications in the form of rinses or pastes that reduce swelling, fight infection, and relieve pain.
Other times, sore gums can be a side effect of medicines you're taking, or they might develop due to an illness or cancer treatment. Since the discomfort can get worse if your swollen gums are untreated, you should see your dentist right away to find the cause of the problem and get help with treatment. To learn more, talk to dental professionals like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.