Causes of tooth and gum swelling

Tooth and gum swelling should not be left undiagnosed and untreated. While it could be something as simple as a vitamin deficiency or a sign that it’s time to remove your wisdom teeth, swelling could also be caused by a serious bacterial infection.

In this post, we’ll cover the most common signs that your gums and teeth are swollen and discuss the causes and treatment options to relieve pain and return your mouth to a healthy state.

Symptoms to watch for

Puffy, red or irritated gums are the most common signs of tooth swelling along with toothache. Bleeding, pain and extreme sensitivity may also be present, particularly when flossing. In some cases your tongue may also swell.

The four common causes of swollen teeth and gums

  • Vitamin C deficiency: A lack of Vitamin C in your diet can lead to a number of oral health problems, including swelling. Fortunately, this can be remedied by adding fruit to your diet and taking a Vitamin C supplement.
  • Tooth abscess: Caused by tooth decay at the root of your teeth, an abscess is a serious condition that should be treated immediately. Swelling that is accompanied by a severe toothache can be due to an abscessed tooth.
  • Gingivitis: The most common cause of irritated gums, gingivitis is an inflammation caused by a buildup of plaque or bacteria on the teeth. Gingivitis is nondestructive in nature but can lead to periodontitis, which is a more serious condition.
  • Wisdom teeth: One or more wisdom teeth that are ready to erupt can cause swelling and irritation of the gums. More serious pain and inflammation may be a sign that your wisdom teeth are impacted.
  • Reaction to medication or oral care products: A recent change of prescriptions or a new brand of toothpaste or mouthwash can cause reactions in your mouth.

Prevention is the best cure

Consistent brushing and flossing is the best way to avoid problems with swollen teeth and gums. Gargling with salt water can also help to wash away bacteria before it gathers. Once a serious infection has formed, antibiotics and other medications may be needed and an abscess may require root canal therapy.

Swelling due to wisdom teeth

In most cases, wisdom teeth that cause swelling of the teeth and gums will need to be removed by your oral surgeon. This is a simple procedure and 85% of Americans will have at least one wisdom tooth extracted in their lifetime.