If you have ever experienced swollen gums, you know that they can feel sensitive and may be red as well. It can be a little unnerving if you don’t know what’s going on. Why are your gums swollen? Does it mean that something is wrong? What can you do to make your gums healthy again? Get the answers to all your questions about your swollen gums in Orange Park here with this helpful information from your dentist.
What causes swollen gums?
Swollen gums are a common symptom of gum disease (also called periodontal disease), a chronic inflammatory condition in the gums. In your mouth, you have plaque, a white, sticky substance that houses bacteria, which create acids that irritate your gums. When plaque is allowed to remain on our teeth, particularly near the gum line, these acids cause inflammation in your gums. This first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.
As plaque hardens into tartar, the bacteria have constant access to your gums, which makes them recede or separate from the teeth. In periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease, pockets between teeth and the gums form and trap more plaque and food particles. As the bacteria penetrate deeper into the gums, they can damage your teeth’s supporting tissue and bone. If left untreated, gum disease eventually leads to tooth loss. And it all starts with swollen gums.
How can I treat swollen gums?
The good news is that gum disease in Orange Park is treatable and preventable. If you catch gum disease early during the gingivitis stage, typically a routine dental cleaning is enough to take care of your swollen, sensitive gums and reverse any damage done. If you wait until later, you may require more intensive treatment in periodontal therapy. Scaling involves a deep cleaning both above and below the gum line to clear out the pockets of buildup. Then your dentist in Orange Park performs root planing, which entails smoothing out the rough surfaces of the exposed teeth roots to prevent buildup in the future. More advanced cases may necessitate laser treatment or surgery.
How can I prevent swollen gums in the future?
To maintain your newly restored oral health after treatment and prevent gum disease from coming back, you need to implement the following habits into your schedule:
- Brushing at least twice a day.
- Flossing at least once a day.
- Visiting the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings.
There are other habits that help reduce your risk of gum disease, including the following:
- Consuming less sugar.
- Drinking more water.
- Using an antimicrobial mouthwash.
If you have swollen gums, don’t just ignore them. Your oral health could be at risk, and the sooner you address the problem, the more easily it can be treated and overcome. By implementing these healthy oral habits into your life, you can ensure that you keep your natural teeth and gums happy and healthy for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki has years of experience practicing general dentistry and prosthodontics. He has completed a one-year fellowship and a three-year residency in prosthodontics, helping him receive a specialist certificate. As a result, he is able to offer many dental services, including preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency care for patients of all ages, including complex cases. To contact him, you can call (904) 272-1588 or click here.