What Causes Swollen Gums?

Swollen gums can be uncomfortable and may be a sign of gum disease. But what causes them?

While healthy gums are pink and firm, swollen gums (also referred to as inflamed gums) tend to be red and puffy. They are often one of the early symptoms of gum disease.


The most common cause of swollen gums is plaque buildup around your teeth. It tends to develop when food particles linger in the mouth.


Unless the plaque is removed (usually by brushing and flossing), it can cause swollen gums around the tooth. This inflammation may lead to more serious problems like periodontitis.


There are other causes of swollen gums too, so it’s important to talk to your dentist if you have any concerns.

Treatment for Swollen Gums

Aside from regular check-ups with your dentist, there are several things you can do to remove plaque and treat swollen gums.

soft round-bristled toothbrush

Use a soft round-bristled toothbrush with a small head

Pay careful attention to the space where the gums and teeth meet.

soft round-bristled toothbrush

Floss or use interdental brushes

They help remove plaque from difficult to reach areas, like between your teeth.

soft round-bristled toothbrush

Brush with parodontaxTM daily fluoride toothpaste

parodontax™ is 3x more effective at removing plaque, the main cause of bleeding gums.* Decreasing the buildup of plaque along the gum line helps to keep gums healthy.


*compared to a sodium monofluorophosphate toothpaste after a professional cleaning and twice daily brushing

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