You brush and you floss religiously, so why is it that you just had an area of your gums flaring up? It may possibly be due to food wedging itself under your gumlines, causing a tissue reaction. Even if you clean very thoroughly, some types of foods are known to cause this type of problem, especially popcorn! For instance, the thin popcorn hull just slips into your gum pocket while you’re chewing, and even floss can’t grab it as you slide it up and down around your tooth. The result? A localized, swollen area of gum tissue that appears red and irritated. In someone with good hygiene, this is especially noticeable and can cause minor discomfort.
Some areas are prone to food packing because of tooth decay, bone loss, or active periodontal disease. With your dentist or hygienist’s help, you can help manage these areas better and keep gum tissue healthy, and tighter around the tooth. Specialized cleaning devices like water flossers, or proxa-brushes may be able to remove food debris that you can’t get using traditional toothbrushing or flossing. Water flossing is becoming a favorite oral care appliance among oral health providers, as it is capable of easily flushing debris out of areas that aren’t accessible with floss.
When wedged food or bacteria are efficiently removed, your swelling will reduce over the next few days, or up to 2 weeks. Adding essential oils or a warm salt-water rinse to your oral care routine can help with the swelling as well. However, if symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, it’s important that you see your dentist to make sure there are no other types of complications with the tooth.
Posted on behalf of Dan Myers
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