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Tooth Swelling: Causes And How To Relieve Discomfort

Have you ever felt swelling in your teeth and gums? Swollen teeth can be painful and potentially serious, as it’s often the result of an infection. Here, we’ll look into what causes tooth swelling, what to do if you’re experiencing it, and how to relieve your discomfort.

If you experience any signs of tooth swelling, you should reach out to your dental professional immediately. If you can’t get in touch with your dental professional, and your tooth swelling is accompanied by a fever and swelling in your face, visit the emergency room.

Potential Causes of Tooth and Gum Swelling

Whether your case is mild or severe, it could be due to one of the following causes:

Tooth abscess: A tooth abscess, which results from an infection, can occur at the tip of the root (periapical) or on the side of the tooth’s root (periodontal). The abscesses are filled with pus and are typically due to a cavity, injury, or dental work, as cracks provide pathways for germs to enter and infect the tooth. Symptoms of tooth abscesses include:

  • A throbbing toothache that you may feel in your neck, ear or jawbone
  • Swollen lymph nodes near your jaw or in your neck
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling in your face and neck
  • Sensitivity to biting or chewing

Having a painful, swollen infection is no fun. If you’re wondering how to treat an abscess or even how to get rid of a face swollen from tooth infection, you need to seek medical treatment. Even if the abscess drains on its own, you still need to visit your dentist to ensure the infection doesn’t spread. Their treatment will involve addressing the infection, which means draining the abscess. They may prescribe antibiotics as well. In some cases, they may need to remove the tooth or perform a root canal.

Wisdom teeth irritation: The growth and eruption of wisdom teeth is a natural process. Sometimes, however, this change can cause teeth swelling. Wisdom teeth may cause swelling if they’re impacted, meaning the teeth are trapped under your gums. If the wisdom teeth break through, they may create spaces where germs can infect the gums, leading to swelling and pain. 

You may wonder how to treat swollen gums near the wisdom tooth: the solution is usually removal. Following wisdom teeth removal, swelling may again be noticeable in the gum and teeth regions as your mouth heals. To relieve some discomfort and fight any germs, be sure to rinse your mouth with warm salt water every few hours. Ice packs against the side of your mouth can also ease the pain. If your swelling feels like it’s serious and requires medical attention, reach out to your dental professional immediately.

Gum problems: Gum problems are a common cause of puffy, red, irritated gums that may feel tender and sensitive after you brush your teeth. Luckily, gum problems can be addressed at home with excellent oral care, limiting sugary snack snacks and drinks, and stopping tobacco use. However, if you’re experiencing gum problems, you should still reach out to your dental professional for a thorough examination and treatment. 

Vitamin C Deficiency: Did you know that scurvy, the disease made famous by sailors, is just a term for a Vitamin C deficiency? Lack of Vitamin C can cause swelling around the teeth. Luckily, a solution is to eat more delicious citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits. Vitamin C supplements can also help. If you think you may have a Vitamin C deficiency, talk to your dental and medical professionals, as they can determine how much you should add to your diet. 

Medications and Other Causes: Certain medications can also have side effects of tooth swelling. If you notice that your toothpaste or mouthwash irritates your teeth and gums, stop using it until you see your healthcare provider.

Treatment and Pain Relief for Tooth Swelling

If you’re experiencing swelling, the first step is to reach out to your dental professional. They’ll be able to determine the cause of your swollen gums and teeth, and recommend the best treatment. At home, however, you can gargle warm salt water, which will help rinse away germs. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help reduce swelling and soreness. 

Your mouth is full of germs, and even the most dedicated teeth brushers may develop a swollen tooth. That being said, excellent oral care is still crucial to preventing swelling in your mouth. That means brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth daily with floss, water flossers, or another interdental cleaning device. 

Unlike a bruise or mild cut on your skin, swelling inside your mouth near your teeth can be a severe issue, and you should address it as such. Dentists can prescribe antibiotics and medications that will not only treat the pain, but also target the infection. Plus, the sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can eliminate your tooth swelling pain and get back to having a healthy, confident, pain-free smile.