Your gums are thick fibrous pink tissues that cover and protect your jaw that your teeth grow through. The tissue of your gums is pink due to the large number of blood vessels it contains; it’s also why they can be sensitive and easily damaged.
Your gums can become swollen for a number of different reasons, the most common being Gingivitis.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It is a gum disease that causes your gums to be irritated so that they may protrude or bulge out and begin to hide parts of your teeth.
When you have Gingivitis, instead of a healthy pink colour your gums will appear red and you may experience sensitivity as well as your gums bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth.
Gingivitis often occurs when you have a period of poor dental hygiene and Plaque (Plaque – a thin layer of bacteria mixed with food particles and saliva that coats the teeth) has been allowed to build up on the gum line and teeth that then forms into Calculus, also called Tartar (Tartar – the hard setting of Plaque on a tooth’s surface that cannot be easily removed with flossing or regular tooth brushing).
Allowing Tartar/Calculus to form results in bad breath, shrinking gums and severe Gingivitis – very swollen gums.
Booking an examination or appointment to have your teeth cleaned by your Dentist or Dental Hygienist is the best way to avoid infected gums caused by Gingivitis.
The flood of hormones that accompanies being pregnant can increase the flow of blood to your gums resulting in gums that are swollen and more easily irritated.
The hormonal changes of being pregnant can also interfere with your body’s resistance to bacteria and infections which can increase your susceptibly to gum disease and Gingivitis.
You can reduce the risk of gum disease and Gingivitis during pregnancy by speaking with your Dentist and Dental Hygienist when you first discover that you are pregnant. They can develop an Oral Hygiene and Maintenance Plan for you to ensure that you are keeping your teeth and gums disease free during your pregnancy.
People undergoing intensive medical treatments such as Chemotherapy often experience painfully swollen gums that bleed easily. The drugs and medications that are designed to help with the illness often have unpleasant side-effects that your mouth and in particular your gums are vulnerable to.
The chemicals and toxins that are present in cigarettes and other tobacco products also make smokers susceptible to gum disease. From sensitive swollen gums to painful bleeding mouth sores, the chemicals you inhale when smoking are damaging your gums as well as discolouring your teeth.
An appointment with your Dentist to discuss how you can best manage your Oral Care until you kick your smoking habit or whilst receiving medical treatments can help you avoid the pain of swollen gums.