7 Causes of Swollen Gums

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What causes swollen gums?

  1. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  2. Plaque Build Up
  3. Infection
  4. Malnutrition and lack of vitamins B and C
  5. Poorly fitting dentures or similar appliances
  6. Side effects of a medicine
  7. Food debris

Swollen gums are enlarged, bulging, or protruding gums in the triangle-shaped areas between teeth. While gum swelling can be common, there are times when the swelling becomes so bad that they begin to hide parts of your teeth. When that happens, you’ll notice that your gums are often irritated, sensitive, or painful. They may even bleed more easily when you brush or floss.

In this article, we’ll discuss some causes of swollen gums, what to do if you have them, and when to see a dentist for treatment. First, let’s take a look at the causes.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

283694069 181097007607237 8590679823064813137 N 1There are times when wisdom teeth don’t come out properly and remain below the gumline. These are impacted wisdom teeth, and this condition can usually cause several dental problems including swollen gums. 

As wisdom teeth try to push through the gum tissue, they can cause inflammation and irritation. This leads to swelling and tenderness in the surrounding gums. 

If this turns out to be the cause of your swollen gums, you should consider visiting your dentist for a check-up since it may require wisdom teeth extraction

Plaque Buildup

Gingivitis, also known as gum inflammation, is caused by plaque buildup along the gumline. Plaque is a sticky, colorless bacterial film that forms on teeth. If not effectively removed by proper brushing and flossing, it can irritate the gums, resulting in swelling. 

Gingivitis can go unnoticed by many individuals as the symptoms can be mild. If left untreated, it can escalate to a more severe condition known as periodontitis, which could eventually lead to bone and tooth loss.


Certain fungal or viral infections include swollen gums as one of their symptoms. This is because infections trigger an immune response from the body that involves sending white blood cells to the site of infection. 

If the site happens to be gum tissue, the response causes inflammation, which can lead to swelling, redness, tenderness, and sometimes even bleeding of the gums. This type of infection can also lead to periodontitis and possible tooth loss when left untreated. 

Therefore, it’s very important to maintain good oral health and hygiene by always brushing and flossing, and visiting a dentist regularly.

Malnutrition and lack of vitamins B and C

Not having enough Vitamins B and C in your body can cause gum swelling. Vitamin C in particular facilitates the maintenance and repair of your teeth and gums. A severe lack of Vitamin C could lead to scurvy, the symptoms of which are feeling weak, anemia, gum disease, and skin hemorrhages. As for Vitamin B, deficiencies in this nutrient can lead to angular cheilitis which are characterized by cracked, inflamed, and swollen gums as well as corners of the mouth.

Other causes of swollen gums

Gums can also become swollen as a side effect of certain medications, or if you are particularly sensitive to a certain toothpaste or mouthwash. Poorly fitting dentures or similar dental appliances can also the swelling of gums, as well as leftover food debris that hasn’t been removed through proper brushing or flossing.

Now that we’ve tackled the causes of swollen gums, let’s dive deeper into the topic and answer the question: what should you do if you have swollen gums already? There are two treatment options for swollen gums. If you’ve only noticed your gums swelling in the past few days or so, you can carefully treat swollen gums at home. Otherwise, if 2 weeks have passed and your gums are still swollen, it would be a good time to see a dentist.

When Should You See a Dentist for Your Swollen Gums?

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If your gums have been swollen for more than 2 weeks, it’s time to see a dentist. They’ll likely ask when the symptoms began, how often they occur, and if you’ve had any recent changes in diet. They’ll want to know if you’re pregnant and might even recommend a dental x-ray to check for bone loss. 

When they spot wisdom teeth as the cause of your swollen gums, they will schedule an extraction.

Key Takeaway

Now that you know the different causes of swollen gums, you can start preventing this from happening by maintaining good oral hygiene. However, some things are beyond your control like impacted wisdom teeth. 

Don’t hesitate to visit your dentist to get them checked. So visit your favorite dental clinic in BGC Taguig or Greenhills San Juan today—Elevate Dental! We’re ready to provide you with the services you need.

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