Pain or Swelling in Mouth

There are a number of things that can cause pain or swelling in any part of the mouth. Diagnosing the underlying cause of pain in the gums, teeth, or cheeks can help pinpoint the best treatment and help prevent the pain from returning.

Gum Disease

Gingivitis is a common gentle malady that can be painful and destructive and is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria at the gum line. Plaque eats away at gum tissue and tooth structure, leading to swollen and tender gums that bleed upon flossing and brushing as well as bad breath. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis causes gum recession and bone loss which can lead to loose teeth and eventually, tooth loss.

Preventing gum disease is the best way to keep your mouth healthy so it is important to maintain a thorough oral care routine and visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental cleanings. If you experience swelling and pain at the gum line and tooth sensitivity, visit your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Dry Mouth

Saliva is an essential part of our digestion and helps wash away food particles and bacteria from the teeth. If you regularly feel parched and suffer from bad breath, mouth sores, or chronically chapped lips, you may have dry mouth. You may be able to resolve your dry mouth by simply drinking more water and eating foods that stimulate saliva production but if you have a more severe case of dry mouth, you may need to see your dentist so they can help identify the cause of your dry mouth and provide treatment to increase saliva production.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores can be very painful and while they usually go away on their own, persistent sores may require the attention of your dentist. Canker sores usually develop on the soft tissues of your mouth and are identified by a white lesion with a red border. Your dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse, an antibiotic, or a corticosteroid to heal the canker sore. If your mouth sore does not go away relatively quickly, it is essential to see your dentist to make sure that nothing more severe or is developing, mouth sores can be a symptom of oral cancer so make sure to visit your dentist if you develop a persistent mouth sore.


A mouth injury can easily lead to pain and swelling. If you bite your lip or burn the inside of your mouth on food or cut your gums on a sharp piece of food, the resulting wound may require treatment by your dentist, depending on the extent of the damage.

Tooth Decay

A cavity can cause sharp or throbbing pain or sensitivity to temperatures and eating. Tooth decay will only get worse over time so it is important to see your dentist as soon as you can to have the area treated. Left untreated, decay can worsen to a point that you may need a root canal or a crown instead of a simple filling.

Puffy or Bleeding Inflamed Gums