Puffy or Bleeding Inflamed Gums
Anyone that has had inflamed, swollen gums knows that it can be seriously uncomfortable. Most often, inflammation is cause by improper flossing and brushing, gum disease, hormone changes, chemotherapy, and tobacco use but, in some cases, irritation from dental devices can also factor in.
Given that more than 50 percent of adult Americans have early periodontal disease, gum inflammation is a common issue. Based on the severity of gum inflammation, one of two types of periodontal disease could be to blame:
- Gingivitis: An initial and fairly mild form of periodontal disease, millions of Americans are affected by gingivitis every year. Gum inflammation and bleeding when flossing or brushing are the most common indicators of gingivitis. Gingivitis itself is not serious but it is important to treat the condition before it progresses further.
- Periodontitis: If not treated in a timely fashion, gingivitis progresses to a more advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. The inflamed gums will be more painful and teeth may begin to loosen at this point. Teeth become loose because periodontitis damages the tissues holding them in place. It is vital to long-term oral health that periodontitis be promptly addressed.
How to Treat Inflamed Gums
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to treat and reverse early stages of gum disease. The following steps can help treat inflammation and get oral health back on track:
- Refine Tooth Brushing Technique: Overaggressive brushing can damage the tissues around the teeth and cause inflammation. To avoid damaging the gum tissue, a soft-bristled toothbrush should and a more gentle brushing motion should be used.
- Floss Routinely: It is well known that food particles that become trapped between the teeth can lead to plaque and tartar buildup. By flossing daily or after meals, these particles are removed which can help minimize plaque, gum disease, and the related inflammation. As it is when brushing, it is important not to use excessive force when flossing.
- Rinse Regularly: Rinsing the mouth can also help remove debris and food particles that could lead to plaque buildup and gum disease. Gum specific mouth washes are available that help neutralize plaque bacteria.
- Change Toothpaste: Patients suffering from tooth sensitivity, may find switching to a different toothpaste, like Crest Gum and Sensitivity, will help alleviate the issue. The specific formula is designed to treat the source of gum issues and restore oral health. Anti-gingivitis toothpastes, like Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean, can neutralize plaque around the gumline and combat periodontal issues before they develop. And if enamel erosion has occurred, toothpastes are available to help restore the damage.
- Diet & Lifestyle Changes: Diet can play a huge role in oral health. For example, over sugary or starchy diets can expedite tooth decay and gum disease as the bacterial plaque will thrive on the fuel and cause acid erosion. A well-rounded diet that avoids excess sugars and starches will contribute to better periodontal health. Ensure ample calcium and Vitamin C intake as these can also minimize gum swelling. Making lifestyle changes to de-stress can also be important as high stress levels impact the level of cortisol which can contribute to gum inflammation and swelling.