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Alternative Names Return to topSwollen gums; Gingival swelling
Definition Return to top
Swollen gums are abnormally enlarged, bulging, or protruding.
Considerations Return to top
Gum swelling is quite common and may involve one or many of the triangular-shaped bits of gum between nearby teeth. These sections are called papillae.
Occasionally, the gums swell significantly, blocking the teeth completely.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
Improve your nutrition if it is poor.
Avoid gum irritants such as commercial mouthwashes, alcohol, and tobacco. Change your toothpaste brand and avoid using mouthwashes if your swollen gums are caused by sensitivity to toothpaste or mouthwash.
Use good oral hygiene. See a periodontist or dentist at least every 6 months.
If your swollen gums are caused by a reaction to a drug, talk to your doctor about using a different type of medication. Never change medications without first talking to your doctor.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as:
Tests may include blood studies such as a CBC or blood differential.
The patient will be taught proper mouth and gum care.Update Date: 5/28/2008 Updated by: Jason S. Baker, DMD, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Private Practice, Yonkers, New York. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.