Recently, your gums have become sore and inflamed. Not only has this resulted in quite a bit of discomfort, but it has also left you worried about your oral health. What exactly does it mean to have inflamed gums, and is there anything you can do about the problem before it leads to even more dire consequences? Your periodontist is here with the answers.
Causes of Gum Inflammation
When it comes to gum inflammation, the most common culprit is gum disease. When gum disease is in its earliest stages, it is a relatively mild oral health issue; however, if you don’t take the proper steps to have it treated, it will grow significantly more severe. If too much damage is done to the gum tissues, you may end up losing your permanent teeth.
Treating Inflamed Gums
When your gums are inflamed, there are a number of steps you can take to address the problem. One of the first things you should do is call a periodontist. If you do have some form of gum disease, they may be able to treat it with scaling and root planing, thus getting rid of harmful bacteria and stopping the issue from growing worse.
There are also measures you can take at home to fight gum inflammation. For example, practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing thoroughly every day can often help. You can also protect your smile from some of the bacteria contributing to the inflammation by rinsing with salt water.
Oftentimes, applying a cold compress to the area can reduce swelling in your gum tissue. That being said, it’s important not to use a cold compress for too long; the best approach is to hold it against your face for about 15 minutes, then leave it off for 30 to 40 minutes.
Diet can make a difference for inflamed gums. Leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, onions, and garlic are all great sources of vitamin C, which helps promote gum health. Additionally, you can make a point of drinking more water to boost the production of saliva, which can help protect your smile from inflammation-causing bacteria.
In short, inflamed gums aren’t just uncomfortable; oftentimes they’re a warning sign of a more serious threat to your oral health. If your gums are inflamed, you need to take it seriously. Make an appointment with your periodontist as soon as possible so that they can help you figure out what steps you need to take next.
About the Author
Dr. David Handsman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and is also associated with the Massachusetts Periodontal Society as well as a number of other professional organizations. He cares about protecting his patients’ smiles and is proud to offer scaling and root planing to treat gum disease. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Handsman at Handsman & Haddad Periodontics in Worcester, visit his website or call (508) 753-5444.