Inflamed Gums: Causes & Treatments

Visualisation of healthy gum, gingivitis, periodontitis, inflamed gums

We frequently rely on our teeth to generate a beautiful smile. Unfortunately, though, our gums occasionally seem to receive less praise and attention. As a result, they are easily prone to swelling or inflammation, which can be extremely painful. Learning the causes of inflamed gums is helpful since having healthy gums can make a huge impact on the health of your teeth. Inflamed gums are typically a warning indication and that care is needed.

The following symptoms are typical symptoms of inflamed gums:

  • Discomfort in the gums
  • Redness
  • Bleeding
  • Bruises at or close to the gum line
  • Persistent foul breath
  • Recessed gums

What causes inflamed gums?

Before jumping to conclusions or assuming the worst, be aware that there are a number of possible reasons why your gums might be swollen and inflamed. Some will require a more complicated technique, while others will be easier to treat.

The most frequent root causes of gum inflammation are listed below:


A comparatively benign form of gum disease is gingivitis. If your gums bleed when flossing, this is a common indicator that you have gingivitis. This minor gum disease is commonly brought on by poor oral hygiene. Plaque accumulation causes gum irritation and infection.


Untreated gingivitis frequently progresses to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease2. More pain is experienced, and teeth could become loose. The condition begins to harm the fragile tissue holding your teeth in place, further inflaming and infecting it.


Dental abscesses develop when pus builds up inside or around a tooth3. Such a condition could be brought on by gum disease, tooth decay, fractures, or another issue.

Accumulated food on the teeth

Food particles that are lodged between teeth can readily push against the gum line. Inflammation leads to edema. To relieve the discomfort, try using floss and gargling with water.

Mouthwash or toothpaste response due to sensitivity

Gum inflammation can result from sensitivity to specific products. Moreover, an allergic reaction to new items can result in edema. Usually, the culprit is a new toothpaste or mouthwash.


Gum inflammation can happen as a result of the numerous hormonal changes that occur within the body during pregnancy.

New dental appliances

Your gums require some time to adjust when you get new dental appliances, such as dentures, braces, or retainers. Up to that time, swelling might happen. Also, your gums may get irritated if dental appliances, such as braces or dentures, do not fit properly. If there is pain as well, talk to your dental team about a remedy.


Your diet can have an impact on the health of your gums. Inadequate nutrition, with low levels of vitamin C, can lead to inflamed gums4. Increase the number of nutritious items in your diet, and whenever you can, include vitamin C.

Injuries to the Mouth Area

Gum tissue and teeth are frequently both harmed by mouth trauma.

What are the treatments for inflamed gums?

The following treatments can help your swollen, inflamed gums recover and get well:

  • Modify your brushing method. Choose toothbrushes with soft bristles and move the brush slowly back and forth. Avoid brushing too hard because this can harm the tissue around your teeth.
  • Floss slowly. Take your time during flossing to ensure that you get rid of all food particles stuck in between your teeth. Between each tooth, slowly slide the floss. Avoid forcing the floss out and down hastily, as this can harm your gums.
  • Swish and Rinse. Often, rinsing your mouth with water will help to eliminate food particles and sweet or acidic chemicals. Before spitting it out, give it a few seconds of vigorous swishing.
  • Use compresses. Try using a combination of warm and cold compresses for sore, inflamed gums. For a few minutes, place a warm compress against your face. Afterward, apply a cold compress (crushed ice in a cloth). Repeat many times daily.
  • Enhance your nutrition. Create menus that are more nutrient-dense. Include foods high in calcium and vitamin C in your diet, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, cherries, and kiwis.
  • Utilize specifically designed dental care products. Today, you may get toothpaste and mouthwashes that are specially designed for the care of gums. Listerine offers a variety of mouthwashes that address your every dental need.
  • Regularly visit the dentist. Make an appointment with your dentist to remove tartar buildup and to promote healthy gums.

What measures can you take to prevent inflamed gums?

You can take certain preventative steps to avoid inflamed gums, such as the following:

Proper oral care involves brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.

In order to main proper oral care, you must brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily—in the morning and before bed—and floss at least once. You can remove the bacteria and loosen food particles by flossing before brushing. Also, make sure to use mouthwash at least twice daily. Mouthwash can help fight tooth decay and prevent cavities in addition to fighting plaque and gingivitis and freshening breath. Your oral health can be significantly improved by the use of mouthwash, such as Listerine.

You need to maintain regular trips to the dentist.

See your dentist or dental hygienist for cleanings on a regular basis, typically every six to twelve months. You might require professional cleaning more frequently if you smoke, take certain medications, have dry mouth, or have other risk factors for periodontitis. Yearly dental X-rays can track changes in your dental health and assist discover illnesses that are not visible during a visual dental examination.

Always go for healthy lifestyle choices.

Gum health can also be maintained by engaging in behaviors, such as good eating and blood sugar management if you have diabetes. Healthy teeth and gums may be a result of consuming a variety of nutrient-rich foods. To maintain both a healthy body and a healthy smile, keep a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein foods, calcium-rich meals, and whole grains.

To sum, make an appointment with your dentist to find the source of your inflamed gums and the best course of action for you. And always invest in high-quality dental care products, such as those offered by Listerine to ensure that you’re up to par with your dental hygiene and preventative dental measures.