Puffy or Bleeding Inflamed Gums
What causes inflamed gums?
If you have noticed that your gums are swollen or they are bleeding more after brushing or flossing, then you could be experiencing some of the first symptoms of gum disease. Without an examination from a dentist, you may also have inflamed gums from poor brushing or flossing techniques, chemotherapy side effects, changes in your hormone levels, tobacco use or even from mouth guards or other dental appliances.
When the dentist has determined that you have gum disease like more than 50 percent of American adults, then the dentist can determine if you have gingivitis or the more advanced periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the earlier stage of gum disease that is easy to treat and can be stopped before you experience more serious consequences. During this mild stage of gum disease you will notice your gums bleeding when you brush or floss. You may not even notice that your gums are puffy as the inflammation is so slight.
Periodontitis is the more advanced stage of gum disease which is more serious and more invasive to treat. The inflammation in the gums has gone untreated so long that it has affected the tissues holding your teeth in place in the gums. You may notice that your teeth are loose in the areas where your gums are puffier.
How to get rid of inflamed gums?
When you maintain twice yearly appointments with the dentist, it is easy to treat inflamed gums and to stop any gum disease from progressing. At home between visits, you can take steps to keep your gums from bleeding or swelling.
The first step is to brush firmly, but not aggressively or vigorously and the tooth brush should have soft nylon bristles. Experts recommend gently moving the brush back and forth on the surface of the teeth to remove plaque buildup.
The next step is to not skip flossing as it can remove food particles and bacteria trapped between teeth. The best way to floss to avoid aggravating your gums is to glide the floss along the side of your teeth without forcing it towards your gums.
Following brushing and flossing, taking the extra time to rinse your mouth helps remove any remaining bits of food, bacteria, or sugars to ensure that you are preventing gum disease as best you can. If you do not have time to brush and floss after each meal or snack, rinsing with mouthwash can help prevent bacteria from stripping your tooth enamel of minerals.
Take time to focus on eating a nutritious diet. Your teeth and gums require Vitamin C and calcium so eating foods low in inflammation causing sugar and high in nutrients and minerals can lead to healthier gums.
Manage your stress. As you experience high stress levels, your body’s hormones fluctuate and the hormone cortisol increases as your stress levels increase. Cortisol leads to inflammation throughout your body including your gums. Many people use exercise and meditation to unwind and de-stress.
Finally, if you are following these suggestions but find that your gums are still puffy and bleeding, make an appointment with the dentist. During your visit, the dentist can determine the cause of your inflammation and offer treatment plan options.
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