Gums - swollen

Definition

Swollen gums are abnormally enlarged, bulging, or protruding.

Considerations

Gum swelling is common. It may involve one or many of the triangle-shaped areas of gum between teeth. These sections are called papillae.

Occasionally, the gums swell enough to block the teeth completely.

Causes

Swollen gums may be caused by:

Home Care

Eat a well-balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugary foods and drinks.

Avoid things that can irritate your gums such as mouthwashes, alcohol, and tobacco. Change your toothpaste brand and stop using mouthwashes if sensitivity to these dental products is causing your swollen gums.

Brush and floss your teeth regularly. See a periodontist or dentist at least every 6 months.

If your swollen gums are caused by a reaction to a drug, talk to your health care provider about changing the type of medicine you use. Never stop taking a medicine without first talking to your provider.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if changes to your gums last longer than 2 weeks.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as:

You may have blood tests such as such as a CBC (complete blood count) or blood differential.

Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to care for your teeth and gums.


Review Date: 2/22/2016
Reviewed By: Michael Kapner, DDS, general and aesthetic dentistry, Norwalk Medical Center, Norwalk, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

This information should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. © 1997- 2007 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.