The Causes & Treatments for Sore & Inflamed Gums

August 23, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — wdcchicago @ 1:41 pm
a person holding up their lip to show their gums

Waiting until signs of oral health problems get worse to address them, like sore and inflamed gums, can lead to the need for more extensive treatments as well as risk the function and health of your smile. While the bearable discomfort of irritated gums may seem like something you can put on the backburner, with a checkup from your dentist, you can have your issue diagnosed and treated, preserving your healthy smile. Read on to learn how sore and inflamed gums can develop and what your dentist may recommend treatment-wise.

The Causes of Sore & Inflamed Gums

Your gums are the support system of your teeth, making them crucial to keep healthy. However, when soreness and inflammation threaten them, it’s important to learn what underlying issue is leading to your symptoms so it can be treated. Below are some of the most common causes.


The changes in hormone levels while you’re pregnant can increase the amount of blood that flows to the gums as well as make it more difficult for your body to fight off infection. Both of these factors can lead to higher chances of gingivitis as well as increased swelling.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, which can be referred to as gingivitis (early stage gum disease) or periodontitis (progressed gum disease, is an incredibly common cause of sore and inflamed gums. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one out of every two adults in the country have some stage of this condition. It’s caused when bacteria are allowed to accumulate within the mouth, burrowing in the deep pockets of the gums and leading to more serious effects when left untreated.

Tooth Infections

An abscessed tooth or other oral infection could also lead to swelling, among other symptoms, like a pimple-like bump on the gums near the affected tooth.

Certain Oral Hygiene Habits

Your gums can be sensitive, which is why it’s important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush while brushing your teeth and making gentle, circular motions. After all, it doesn’t take a lot of pressure to brush away plaque and food debris. If you brush too aggressively, this will certainly lead to gum soreness and inflammation, ultimately causing gum recession.

The Treatments for Sore & Inflamed Gums

Fortunately, your dentist offers several treatment options to help tackle and treat your condition, whether it’s caused by a flux in hormones or an infection that requires urgent care. Here are some of the services that they may recommend to you once they’ve diagnosed the issue at-hand:

  • A prescription toothpaste or mouthwash
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Arestin antibiotic therapy
  • More frequent periodontal maintenance cleanings

They’ll also likely recommend some steps you can take at home to improve the health of your gums, which could be as simple as avoiding mouthwashes with alcohol in them and doing regular saltwater rinses.

Although your problem may seem minor now, that’s actually the best time to address it. Your dentist will be able to help stop the progression of your symptoms to not only preserve your natural teeth, but also prevent you from requiring more serious procedures down the road!

About the Author

Dr. Peter Hammes is a skilled and compassionate dentist with years of experience under his belt, as well as a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency, where he gained ample experience in oral surgery and periodontics. He offers several effective gum disease treatments, including Arestin antibiotic therapy and scaling and root planing. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Washington Dental Care’s website or call 312-624-8070.