Tooth decay is a serious problem, but issues with your gums can be even more damaging to your smile and your overall oral health. That is why it is so important to check the condition of your gums every time you brush and floss – or every time you strike a smile.
When you look in the mirror, do you see pink healthy gums, or gums that are red and swollen? Does your gumline appear healthy, or do your gums look they are pulling away from the underlying teeth? If you notice that your gums are swollen or otherwise unhealthy, it is important to see your dentist for a definitive diagnosis and the right treatment.
What Causes Swollen Gums?
Before you can treat swollen gums around one or more teeth, you first need to determine what is causing that swelling. While your dentist is the best authority on the matter, you can take a look at your own oral hygiene, from how often you brush to what you eat, to try to find the issue.
Something as simple as not brushing frequently enough, or failing to floss properly, could cause your gums to become red, swollen and painful. If you have not been brushing as often as you should, your swollen gums should be a wake up call.
Diet and Your Gums
Swollen gums could be the first sign of a nutritional deficiency, especially a deficiency in vitamin C. If your diet is less than optimal, you could be seeing the quality of the food you eat reflected in your red and swollen gums.
If you want to keep your teeth, and the rest of your body, healthy, you can start with a healthy balanced diet. Eating lots of crunchy fruits and green leafy vegetables is good for your gums, as is avoiding sweets and refined sugar.
The Impact of Medications
Some medications, including common antibiotics, can cause swelling in your gums, so check with your doctor about these possible side effects. If the swelling and redness in your gums and around your teeth coincides with the start of a new medication, the culprit could be the pills you are taking.
If the swelling in your gums is indeed caused by the medication you are taking, the side effect should go away once you are done with your current prescription. If the swelling does not go away, it is time to call your doctor – and your dentist.
A number of things can cause swelling in your gums and around your teeth, so it is best to narrow down the list of culprits. Once you know what is causing your swollen gums, you can work to overcome this unsightly problem.