Exploring Oral Health Symptoms, Issues and Solutions

What Causes Gum Tissue to Become Swollen?

Gum tissue plays a pivotal role in keeping your mouth healthy. Each tooth has its own gum tissue that covers it, keeping bacteria and food debris from entering the space around your teeth. But just like the other fragile parts of the human body, gum tissue sometimes suffers from trauma or infection. One of the first indications that something is wrong is swelling. Gum swelling occurs for several reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons for swollen gum tissue.


Gum tissue is very fragile. And because the human mouth contains millions of bacteria, infection can quickly follow if a laceration occurs somewhere in the mouth. Even a small cut or area of damage can quickly suffer infection. Swelling, as well as redness, usually follows a cut on the gum tissue. Your gum tissue should heal naturally within a few days if this is the case.

Trapped food debris

If food lodges in the area between teeth, infection can quickly follow. This is because the bacteria in your mouth begin to feed on trapped food, congregating in the hard-to-reach areas between teeth. This can lead to swelling. Try to floss the area gently to remove the trapped food. This should help to control the infection.

Tooth infections

Although tooth infections start inside teeth, once an abscess forms at the tip of a tooth root, the infection inevitably leaks into the gum tissue around the tooth. The result is swelling and redness. And soon after, an abscess will form on the affected gum. This condition requires urgent dental treatment to remove the infection and seal the tooth against reinfection.

Gum abscesses

Gums can become infected too. This happens when bacteria and food debris find their way under your gum tissue. This often happens when an impacted wisdom tooth has a loose gum flap covering it. Food and bacteria make their way under the gum tissue and soon the area fills with pus, creating a painful abscess. Like tooth infections, gum abscesses need treatment immediately.

Gum disease

Oral bacteria cause gum disease. In the early stages, you'll see redness and swelling around one or more teeth. The area will also be tender when you prod it with your tongue. This early-stage gum disease usually goes away with good oral hygiene. But if you don't change your oral hygiene routine, the disease could progress to the incurable form of gum disease, periodontitis. With the help of a periodontist, you can treat even the most severe form of gum disease.

If your gum tissue has started to swell, think about booking a dental checkup. Although the condition may improve in a few days, if no improvement occurs, you may need some urgent dental treatment. Consider booking a dental appointment with a general dentist or periodontist.