What Causes a Swollen Gum Around One Tooth?

Swollen or puffy gums are a common experience for adults from time to time. But what if you notice your gums are swollen around just one tooth? It may seem unusual to have swelling around just one tooth, but it is not uncommon. In fact, there are a number of factors that may lead to swollen gums. Below is more information on the possible causes of having swollen gums and tips on finding the right treatment.

Possible Causes of Swollen Gums around a Tooth

There are several possible reasons that gums may swell in just one area, including:

  • Poor hygiene: Neglecting to brush and floss daily, may result in leaving behind food debris that can cause tooth decay and inflammation. This inflammation can eventually cause gum disease. Common signs of poor oral hygiene include swollen gums, bleeding while brushing, or a bad taste in the mouth.
  • Gum disease: Over time, the collection of bacteria and plaque on the teeth can infect the gum tissue and lead to gum disease, or periodontal disease. Surprisingly, over 75% of adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease include sensitive teeth, tender gums, or pockets developing between the gums and teeth.
  • Abscess: Poor hygiene and tooth decay can cause cavities, or small holes in the tooth. If left untreated, cavities can allow bacteria to reach inside the tooth which can lead to the development of an abscess, or an infected tooth. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include swollen gums, a swollen jaw, and a fever. If you believe you have an abscess tooth, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. The infection in the tooth can spread throughout the body, causing more serious damage.

Tips on Treating Swollen Gums

If you have swollen gums, but haven’t noticed other serious symptoms, you can try to treat your gums at home. However, if your swollen gums last for over 2 weeks, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Here are few treatment options you can try at home:

  • Saltwater rinse: Rinsing your mouth with saltwater two to three times a day can help to reduce inflammation and bacteria in the mouth.
  • Tea tree oil rinse: Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to warm water can create a mouth rinse to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Turmeric gel: Applying turmeric gel to your swollen gums may help to prevent plaque and gingivitis. After letting the gel sit on the gums for 10 minutes, you can rinse it off with clean water.

Preventing Swollen Gums Around a Tooth

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is the most important step you can take to prevent swollen gums around the teeth. The basic steps for proper oral hygiene include:

  • Brushing twice daily after meals and before bedtime to remove excess food debris and bacteria.
  • Flossing at least once daily to get the tough to reach bacteria around the teeth.
  • Visiting your dental provider for routine checkups and professional teeth cleanings every 6 months.

How Long Do Swollen Gums Last?