Even though we regularly brush and take care of our teeth, our gums may become irritated and inflamed. While there are ways to treat gum inflammation, the most important preventative step is to always take care of your teeth every night and every morning. With that said, here’s how to treat swollen gums.

Common Causes

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, but should be taken seriously. It may cause irritation, redness and swollen gums. If you believe you have gingivitis, make an appointment to see your doctor. To avoid gingivitis, use an antibacterial toothpaste and floss regularly. 
  • Trapped Food: Even if you brush regularly, food can get trapped in your teeth and gums and cause irritation, sensitivity and sometimes bleeding.
  • Oral Infection: Fungi, viruses, and an overgrowth of oral yeast can all lead to infections. These infections usually leave the gums irritated and inflamed, and can lead to dental decay, thrush, herpes, and other health concerns. 

How To Treat Swollen Gums

  • Saltwater solution: Wondering how to treat swollen gums? Try Saltwater.
  • Saltwater rinses are great for soothing your gums and fighting bacteria. Mix one teaspoon of salt with one cup of water. Rinse the solution for 30-40 seconds. This is also a good option to heal any open cuts in your mouth.
  • Warm Compress: A warm compress relieves swelling and gum pain. Take a hot towel and hold it against your cheek (near the swelling) for five minutes. If you like, you can follow up with a cool compress, which also helps reduce swelling and pain. Take a bag of crushed ice and hold it against the same spot for another five minutes. 
  • Turmeric Gel: Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent plaque and gingivitis. Apply turmeric gel to your gums for 8-10 minutes. Rinse your mouth out with water, and make sure you spit, do not swallow the gel.
  • Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is known to fight off disease-causing microorganisms. Mix three drops of peppermint oil with one glass of water. Rinse for 30 seconds and then spit, do not swallow. 

Precautions

Avoid Strong/Harsh Mouthwash: Mouthwash often contains alcohol which can irritate your gums if they are already swollen. Opt for a sensitive or alcohol-free rinse instead.

Brush and Floss Lightly: Brush and floss lightly but deliberately. Don’t skip your nightly routine because your gums are sore. Neglect can make your gums more swollen and sore. 

Practice Good Oral Care Regularly: In most cases, poor oral hygiene is the cause of swollen or irritated gums. By staying on top of your oral health and keeping your gums and teeth clean, you reduce the risk of swollen gums, infections, and gingivitis. 

See Your Dentist

If you believe an infection or gingivitis is the cause of your swollen gums, make an appointment with your doctor. Gingivitis may lead to more serious health concerns down the line, and it’s important to treat the disease as soon as possible.