|Back to Main Print This Page Email to a Friend|
Swollen gums are abnormally enlarged, bulging, or protruding.
Swollen gums; Gingival swelling
Gum swelling is common. It may involve one or many of the triangular-shaped bits of gum between teeth. These sections are called papillae.
Occasionally, the gums swell enough to block the teeth completely.
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 doctor about changing the type of medicine you use. Never stop taking a medicine without first talking to your doctor.
Call your health care provider if you have any changes to your gums that last longer than 2 weeks.
The dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as:
Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to care for your teeth and gums.
Amsterdam JT. Oral medicine. In Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2013:chap 70.
Kawar N, Gajendrareddy PK, Hart T. Periodontal disease for the primary care physician. Dis Mon. 2011;57(4):174-183.
Chow AW. Infections of the oral cavity, neck, and head. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 60.