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What Do Red and Swollen Gums Mean?

person pointing to their red gums

Do your gums bleed whenever you brush and floss? Do they look red and swollen? Are they sensitive or tender? If so, you might have a condition called gum disease, which is estimated to affect more than half of Americans at some point in their lives. Your dentist may be able to treat the condition with periodontal therapy in Marble Falls. Read this post to learn more about what your red gums mean.

What Does It Mean When You Have Red and Swollen Gums?

Swollen and red gums are a telltale sign of periodontal, or gum, disease. This condition is typically caused by poor oral hygiene or other unhealthy habits like smoking.

A sticky, colorless film comprised of food particles and bacteria, called plaque, constantly develops on your teeth. It can be gotten rid of through daily brushing and flossing, but if you skip those habits, plaque can harden into a material known as tartar. Tartar is yellowish and hard, and as such, can only be removed by your dentist or dental hygienist. Tartar is also chock full of bacteria that can cause infections in the gum tissue, resulting in red and swollen gums.

If you put off getting treatment for your gum disease, it can have serious consequences. Bacteria can attack the structures keeping your teeth firmly attached to your gums, resulting in loose teeth and even tooth loss. That’s why you should seek treatment right away if you notice any symptoms.

How Can Your Dentist Help?

Your dentist offers laser dentistry to treat gum disease. Using a fine laser, they can painlessly remove the damaged portions of your gums with minimal or no bleeding. They can also remove any bacteria from beneath the gumline and smooth out the roots of your teeth, making it harder for bacteria to stick to them in the future.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

The good news about gum disease is that it is preventable if you stick to the following steps:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day
  • Floss at least once daily
  • Quit smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a regular checkup and professional cleaning

Red and swollen gums might be a sign of gum disease, but the condition can usually be treated before any serious damage is done. If you have red or swollen gums, be sure to visit your dentist right away!

About the Author

Dr. Greg Ritchie is a dentist in Marble Falls who has been practicing for nearly two decades now. He has a passion for continuing education and has taken post-graduate courses at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. Texas Monthly has named him a “Top Dentist” for the past two years in a row. His practice offers laser dentistry to treat periodontal disease. If your gums are red and swollen, you can contact Dr. Ritchie’s practice at (830) 693-8833.


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