1. The most common reason our gums may become puffy is due to Gingivitis. Gingivitis is when the gums become inflamed and irritated due to plaque and bacteria that sit underneath the gum tissue. When the plaque is not removed the gums appear red and may even bleed as the body’s way of trying to fight that bacteria.
2. Another common reason is due to breathing with your mouth open. If you find yourself breathing through your mouth often, your gums can become very irritated. Some people even tend to keep their mouth open as they sleep which causes the gum tissues to dry out. As a result, your gums try to compensate by enlarging the blood supply to ensure that they don’t completely loose moisture.
3. Hormones are another big factor in having puffy gums. Especially in young adolescents you are growing and maturing, and experiencing changes in their chemical makeup. Women who are pregnant are also susceptible to enlarged gums due to the extra hormones produced.
4. People may overlook the effect that Stress has on our oral health. However, our mouths can be just as affected by stress as the rest of our bodies. Stress can sometimes make people neglect their oral health routines, which in turn leads to gum disease, tooth decay, teeth grinding, and jaw issues. Research has shown that stress affects our immune systems, increasing our susceptibility to infections, including the bacteria that cause gum disease.
5. It is possible that gums may become inflamed due to a Vitamin C Deficiency. Just like our immune system our mouths need a sufficient supply of good vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamin C is good way to keep gums healthy and ready to fight bacteria.
So how do we Prevent puffy gums? How do we treat them?
1. Of course we know that we must brush our teeth, but that isn’t enough. Flossing and brushing our gums will be the best way to prevent puffy gum tissue. As you floss, you want to wrap the floss around each tooth as if you are making a “C-Shape” and gently push it up underneath your gums to pull out any plaque or bacteria that may be hiding underneath. Also, when you brush your teeth you’ll want to remember to use soft, circular motions across your teeth and to massage your gum tissues as you go. This will help push out plaque from the gums as well. Just try not to scrub your gums too hard, as you can scrub them away.
2. If you think you may sleep with your mouth open you can try using an over the counter snore guard or an oral vestibular shield, that will help with the symptoms at night. You may even be suffering from a cold and that can also cause you to feel “stuffed up” and need to breath through your mouth. Try a decongestant or nasal strips.
3. As for hormones, stress, and Vitamin C deficiencies, it is important to take certain measures in keeping our immune systems healthy. As growing teens and even adults, we can can make sure that we are keeping proper oral hygiene, getting enough rest, and taking multi-vitamins or Vitamin C told help fight bacteria.