Swollen or puffy gums can arise as a symptom of gum irritation from aggressive brushing, a recent dental cleaning or other form of dental treatment, or inadequate oral hygiene. Inflamed and bleeding gums due to poor oral hygiene are often a precursor to gum disease and should be treated immediately.
Localized inflammation of the gum tissue around a single tooth can be more difficult to diagnose. We list some of the more frequent causes here.
Recent Dental Work
Isolated areas of gum inflammation are often due to recent dental work. For instance, if you recently had a crown seated on a tooth, the dentist will have used a retraction cord to recede the gums surrounding the tooth to allow the crown to integrate with the gum line. An identical process is used when seating dental veneers. In any case, there is usually no immediate cause for concern. The inflammation should subside with time.
Improper Placement of Dental Restorations
In other instances, improper seating technique can cause bacteria to enter the crevice between the gingiva and restoration causing irritation. Usually, this type of irritation will arise well after treatment. You should seek treatment promptly if you experience sudden swollen gums around tooth. A bacterial infection can mobilize the tooth, causing the restoration to go with it. This type of infection is known as a “gum abscess.”
Overly Enthusiastic Brushing
The junction between the gums and tooth structure can also be compromised by aggressive brushing, allowing food particles to embed in inaccessible areas triggering an infection. Attempts to relieve the discomfort on your own may aggravate the problem, especially if you repeatedly prod the area trying to dislodge any trapped food particles.