Puffy or Bleeding Inflamed Gums

What causes inflamed gums?

If you have ever had red and inflamed gums, you already know how uncomfortable that can be. For most people, the swollen and irritated gums are a result of gum disease but there are a few additional causes to consider. Outside of gum disease, using tobacco, receiving chemotherapy, brushing or flossing improperly, fluctuations in hormones or even using dental hardware can result in puffy gums.

Gum disease affects more than 50 percent of all American adults, but it can be treated in its earlier stage of gingivitis before it progresses to the later and more serious stage of periodontitis. Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease and usually causes gums to be inflamed and bleed from brushing or flossing. Periodontitis is a result of untreated gingivitis and is more damaging to your mouth. When periodontitis has set in, the gums are separating from your teeth and causing loose teeth. Your gums and teeth will be in more pain and the inflammation can even cause bone damage to your jaw without professional treatment.

How to get rid of inflamed gums?

After your dental appointment and professional cleaning, you can take care to reverse and prevent gum disease and inflammation with some habits between twice yearly appointments.

Proper brushing technique

At home, take care to be less aggressive to your gums and use a soft bristled tooth brush. A simple and gentle back and forth motion when brushing with nylon bristles will help prevent inflammation.

Floss regularly

By removing small debris that hides between your teeth even after brushing you are removing bacteria that can lead to plaque. When you carefully slide the floss between your teeth towards your gums, you can prevent damage to your gums.

Rinse thoroughly

You’ve brushed, you’ve flossed, now rinse. A oral rinse can further remove any remain food particles and even the sugars that feed the plaque causing bacteria. Without the plaque to cause gum inflammation, you are avoiding gum disease from developing.

Change your diet

When you take care to eat a diet that is filled with minimally processed foods and is well balanced, you are helping your body experience less inflammation in general. Without as many sugars to help bacteria to grow on your teeth and in your gums, gum disease is not going to be a threat to your oral health. For your teeth, vitamin C and calcium are helpful to the enamel by replacing any minerals lost to plaque. Stronger teeth and less bacteria will help prevent puffy gums.


Taking time to de-stress and regulate your cortisol hormone level, you are reducing inflammation in your body and gums. Activities like meditation, exercise and even relaxing with friends and family can help decrease cortisol levels.

Most importantly, if you have noticed your gums are more swollen or puffy than usual, be sure to take time to make an appointment with the dentist. A proper diagnosis can help you get the proper treatment to help you feel better and prevent more serious issues in the future.

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