Bothersome Swollen Gums: 3 Less Obvious Reasons for Swollen Gums

Posted on: 1 February 2018

Your mouth is a useful, though sometimes painful, indicator when something isn't quite right with your overall health. For instance, mouth ulcers often appear when a person is tired and rundown. However, swollen gums have many different causes. Because of this, identifying the root cause can at first be difficult.

Some of the most obvious causes of swollen, inflamed gums are gum disease, trauma, trapped food and tooth eruption. If your gums are swollen and you are sure that none of the above is to blame, you need to explore other, less-obvious, health-related possibilities. One of the following three health issues may provide the answers you need.

You May Have a Food Allergy

Think back to your last meal or snack before the gum swelling occurred. You may have eaten something that caused an allergic reaction. Don't rule anything out, no matter how innocuous it seems. It could be the fruit juice you had at lunch or the chocolate bar you ate on your break.

If you ate something new to you, make a note of that and book an appointment with your doctor. Unfortunately, you can suddenly become allergic to a food that was once harmless—even if it was one of your favourites. This is more common in children but can also occur in around 2% of adults. A visit to your doctor can help to identify a food allergy.

It May Be Due to Vitamin Deficiency

When your diet is lacking in vitamins, your gums will be one of the first areas to suffer. Vitamins such as vitamin C, folic acid, and riboflavin all help to fight bacteria and give your immune system the tools it needs to keep infection at bay.

When your body lacks these vital nutrients, your mouth, which is home to billions of bacterial organisms, will let you know. Your gums will become swollen and inflamed. They may also bleed when you brush your teeth. Pay a visit to your dentist if you suspect this to be the cause because vitamin deficiency can lead to gum disease.

Hormones May Be to Blame

In women, hormonal fluctuations can cause gum inflammation. This is a common occurrence that affects young women in puberty, pregnant women and women who are taking oral contraceptives. Gum inflammation may also occur during menstruation. In all of these cases, gums may be swollen and painful to the touch and may also bleed during brushing.

If you suspect this is the cause of your swollen gums, your dentist may be able to help protect your teeth and gums whilst providing some pain relief. You should also consider switching to another form of contraceptive if the one you are currently taking causes severe gum swelling and inflammation.

If your gums are swollen and you are unable to identify the cause, don't ignore the issue. See a dentist immediately so they can diagnose the cause and treat it before your oral health suffers any further. 

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