Why Are My Gums Swollen in One Spot?

Posted on: April 16, 2018

Take a close look inside your mouth when you are brushing or flossing your teeth and you might find your gums are swollen in one spot.  This is quite the interesting phenomenon.

Below, we explain why gums tend to swell in one part of the mouth.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the top causes of swollen gums around a single tooth or multiple teeth.  The sad truth is about half of all adults in the United States age 30 and older have a form of gum disease.  In the earliest stage, gum disease will appear as a red and swollen portion of the gum that is painless. Though this swollen portion of the gums will not feel uncomfortable, it might bleed.  Gum disease will continue to progress to the point that it causes the teeth to loosen as the gums pull away from the teeth.

Hygienic Mistakes

Swelling around one tooth can occur as a result of improper flossing or brushing. Hygienic mishaps will leave bits of food behind and spur inflammation as well as decay.  Insufficient oral hygiene can even cause the aforementioned gum disease.

Tooth Eruption

For the most part, permanent teeth typically erupt toward the final years of adolescence.  If these teeth do not have enough space, they might not come in all the way or at all. Such a condition can cause gum inflammation around the tooth. This swelling will likely be limited to the area where the tooth is erupting.  If wisdom teeth are beginning to erupt, they can also suffer an infection of the gum flap overlying the partially erupted wisdom tooth or third molar. Such an infection is referred to as Pericoronitis. This infection should be treated with antibiotics along with a warm salt water rinse.  If treated properly, pericoronitis will dissipate in about a week's time.

An Abscessed Tooth

Local gum swelling is sometimes caused by an abscessed tooth.  A neglected cavity can permit bacteria to move through the tooth and spur an infection.  If irritation occurs, the patient might lose the tooth in question.

Canker Sores

Canker sores can form within the mouth along the base of the gums, beneath the tongue, inside the lips or even on the interior portion of the cheeks.  These sores are diminutive lesions that typically have a yellow or white center. Canker sores are quite painful yet the discomfort usually goes away in a week or two.  Anything from a minor injury to forceful brushing, biting the cheek or poorly-fitted dental devices/restorations can cause canker sores to form.

Swelling Following a Dental Procedure or the Application of a Dental Device

The area of your mouth operated on during a dental procedure has the potential to swell in the hours and days following the surgery.  Braces and additional dental fixtures can also cause swelling. In some cases, the placement of dental implants can cause peri-implantitis.  This is an inflammatory process that impacts the gums as well as the bone around the dental implants. If peri-implantitis occurs, it can lead to a swollen portion of the gum around the tooth.

Please call Thomas Dental Care today at (530) 486-1104!


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