What Does Swollen Gums Around A Tooth Signify?

Swollen gums around a tooth seldom signify a life threatening emergency, although if the swelling persists or is accompanied by pain, you should call your dentist, explain the situation and, if so advised, make an appointment. Swollen gums around the tooth can be the result of a number of different causes, but the important thing here is, this is an early warning sign of worse problems likely to come if the warning is not heeded.

A swollen gum can either be the result of some temporary disorder, such as a wound created in the gum due to something hard or rather sharp, such as a piece of a nut shell, or a piece of peanut brittle, becoming lodged between the teeth and cutting into the gum tissue. This is not a disease of course, and normally will heal quickly and the swelling will go down. In some instances however something may lodge between the teeth, irritate or damage the gum, and if the particle isn't removed it may start to decay, and cause an infection. Then, what started as a gum disorder, becomes something more serious, gum disease. An erupting wisdom tooth is a frequent cause of swollen gums. If the tooth comes through normally, there is usually nothing to worry about, but wisdom teeth don't have good track record of doing that.

Periodontal Disease - There are a number of diseases, called periodontal diseases, which can cause swollen gums around a tooth, or around several teeth for that matter. Periodontal disease is not a single disease, but a family of diseases than can affect the gums and the bony tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontal literally means "surrounding the tooth", so we have a disease that is in effect causing the tissues surrounding the tooth to be swollen, become inflamed, or bleed.

Whether swollen gums are caused by something lodged between the teeth, an infected tooth, or whatever, the situation is not normal. Very often the condition can be successfully treated at home. Just remember if the condition persists, to see a dentist. There may be something in the works that requires prompt attention.

Treating swollen gums and preventing them from occurring in the first place have much in common, and usually revolve around good dental hygiene, including taking into account the type of foods we eat. Sometimes we are sensitive to a particular brand of toothpaste or mouthwash. Our body is strange at times. One brand or type of toothpaste may cause no problems, the next may act as if its primary ingredients were all allergens, and the same goes for mouthwash. Swelling can also be brought about by certain medications, or other diseases or disorders which really do not fall within the classification of a periodontal disease.

Flossing, Vitamins, And Smoking - Swollen gums around a tooth can often be avoided completely by religiously brushing and flossing your teeth, if not after every meal, at least after breakfast and before bedtime. And brushing and flossing habits can also cause chronic swelling to gradually dissipate. Changing from sugary soft candies and other sweets will help. Try to get in the habit of eating an apple instead. There's much to be said about “an apple a day”. The benefits of doings so extend well beyond the teeth, mouth, and gums.

A vitamin deficiency can also lead to swollen gums problems, especially a deficiency in vitamin C. If in doubt, start taking a multiple vitamin capsule daily, or just take vitamin C tablets. The B vitamins can play a role as well.

It would be tempted to say that, if you smoke, forget all of the above. That's not quite fair, but if you are a smoker, keeping healthy gums will likely become an uphill struggle as the years go by, no matter how well you floss or how much vitamin C you take. Quit, and your gums will be grateful, not to mention your lungs.