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What To Do With Swollen Gums

Good dental hygiene is an important part of overall health.While many people understand the benefits of taking care of their teeth, they often forget all about their gums. Swollen and painful gums can be a sign of bigger problems. Here are a few things you should know about swollen gums and their causes.

Improper Nutrition

Being deficient in certain nutrients can cause swollen gums. This occurs when the body is not getting enough nutrients to keep it healthy. While malnutrition can affect anyone, children are at an increased risk. The best way to avoid this condition, is to eat a diet rich in a variety of nutritious foods. This should include protein, vegetables, whole grains and fruits.


Swollen gums are the hallmark of gingivitis. This gum disease causes inflamed gums and is usually caused by bacteria. Certain lifestyle choices and behaviors can put you at greater risk for gingivitis. Smoking, pregnancy and genetic factors can increase your risk of developing this condition. In addition, certain medications, diseases and broken dental fillings can cause it as well. Gingivitis causes gums to be red, swollen, bleed and painful. The best way to treat this condition is to see your dentist, who can recommend treatment.


Certain types of cancer like leukemia can cause swollen, red gums. This cancer occurs in the blood cells of the body, affecting your immune system. You may be an increased risk of leukemia if you have a family history of the disease. Other risk factors include exposure to radiation, chemical exposure and pre-existing medical conditions. In addition to swollen gums, other symptoms include fatigue, night sweats, fever, frequent infection and weight loss.

Poor Dental Health

Tooth decay is a leading cause of swollen, painful gums. When dental hygiene is poor, cavities can form. If left untreated, a variety of other symptoms can occur. Bacteria is the leading cause of tooth decay in adults and children. Some things that cause this are acids, food particles and saliva. Certain people are at an increased risk of developing tooth decay. Those who eat sugar filled foods, drink sugary sodas and have acid reflux may get cavities more often than others. The best way to prevent swollen gums caused by tooth decay is to eat a healthy diet, brush your teeth and see your dentist on a regular basis.

Most cases of swollen gums are not serious and can be treated. However, if your gums are persistently painful, it may be time to see your dentist for an evaluation. Early detection and treatment are key to good oral health.