If you have swollen gums, it’s important to learn how to get rid of swollen gums fast so that you can enjoy all of the benefits that healthy gums bring to your dental and oral health overall. Here are some quick tips to help you get rid of swollen gums and keep them away!
First and foremost, visit your dentist
The first thing you need to do is visit your dentist and get an official diagnosis. If you have swollen gums, it could be something simple like a toothache or more serious such as gum disease. While there are many home remedies for swollen gums, you may be putting yourself at risk by ignoring swelling caused by more serious underlying issues. Before trying any home remedies, ask your dentist if there’s anything they recommend. If so, follow their advice before attempting any fixes on your own.
Use oral care products properly
If you’re trying to get rid of swollen gums, switching up your oral care routine could be just what you need. While brushing and flossing regularly is essential, your mouthwashes and other oral care products can also help. If you aren’t already doing so, make sure you rinse for two minutes with a mouthwash containing either cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine gluconate after brushing or flossing. You may also want to consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash like ACT Anticavity Fluoride Rinse if gingivitis is something that concerns you.
When you feel stress, your body goes into fight or flight mode—also known as sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation. This is a reaction to threat and typically involves things like increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, muscle tension, and an inability to think clearly. When you experience too much stress on a daily basis—as many people in our fast-paced world do—it may be because your SNS has been activated for too long without rest or relaxation. The solution: manage your stress so that it doesn’t overwhelm you.
Prevent gum disease with regular visits to the dentist
Don’t wait until you have a bad case of gum disease to seek out care from your dentist. When left untreated, gum disease has been linked to some serious conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. If you think you may be at risk for developing periodontal disease—and even if you don’t—make it a point to visit your dentist regularly. The American Dental Association recommends that adults visit their dentists every six months for a cleaning and checkup. This might sound like an inconvenience, but actually it can save you time and money in emergency-dentist costs down the road (not to mention less time spent worrying about swollen gums). And let’s face it: regular dental visits are just plain good for our health!
Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
Smoking increases your risk for gum disease and can actually cause swollen gums. If you need help quitting, you can reach out to local resources or join an online community like Smokefree.gov. That said, if you’re a smoker and your gums are still swollen after two weeks without smoking, it might be a sign that there’s an underlying health issue—in which case you should see a dentist right away. As soon as your dental care provider gets a good look at your mouth, they’ll be able to tell whether there’s any serious issue going on. In some cases, they may recommend over-the-counter remedies; in others, it might be time for antibiotics (which will also help with any tooth infection).
Eat a balanced diet
The number one way to get rid of swollen gums is to eat a balanced diet. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients will ensure your oral health stays in good shape. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables (including dark leafy greens), fruit, whole grains, and lean proteins (especially seafood). You may also want to consider taking a daily vitamin supplement—particularly if you struggle with eating a balanced diet or have other lifestyle-related causes for oral health problems. Always be sure to brush your teeth after meals, especially those that contain lots of sugar! Treating Your Gum Disease: If you notice swelling in your gums no matter what you do, it could be a sign that you have gum disease.
Using mouthwash is one way to remove bacteria that can cause your gums to swell and become infected. If you’re not keen on using mouthwash, or want another option, consider rinsing with warm salt water. Just dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water, swish it around and spit out. You could also rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide—again, just mix it into a glass of water and use as you would mouthwash. As an added bonus, both have a whitening effect on teeth. Yum!
Practice good oral hygiene
If you have swollen gums, improving your oral hygiene is your first step toward feeling better. Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss at least once daily. If you still notice swelling after brushing and flossing in conjunction with mouthwash (more on that in a bit), visit your dentist for an exam. Your dentist can recommend further treatment options, such as scaling or root planing. Scaling involves using a scaler or sharpened instrument to remove tartar from teeth and gums; root planing smooths rough spots on your teeth’s surfaces so plaque doesn’t stick as easily.