The health of your teeth and gums is very important to your overall health. You might think that something as insignificant as a little swelling in your gums wouldn’t be much of a concern, but this is far from true. A swollen gum is a sign of a problem that should be checked quickly before it becomes worse.
Swollen gums are the first sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by the build-up of a filmy layer of bacteria also called plaque, which builds on and between your teeth due to improper brushing and flossing. The bacteria, if left on the gums causes inflammation and swelling. If plaque is left on your teeth it will harden into tartar. Tartar breaks down the gums and affects the bone structure surrounding the teeth causing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease if left untreated leads to tooth loss and bone loss.
If you are experiencing swollen gums it is important to tell your hygienist at your next dental visit. Your hygienist will take extra care when cleaning the plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum line. Your dentist will prescribe an oral antiseptic rinse for you to use after the visit until the swelling is gone. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics if there is serious infection in the gums.
When caught early swollen gums are easily treated, but the best protection is prevention. Brush and floss daily to remove the plaque from your teeth. Avoid tobacco products completely because they do damage to the teeth and gums. Also, have regular dental exams and cleanings. If you are looking for a dentist and have questions feel free to contact our office.