Why Do My Gums Swell When I Eat?

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Untreated gum disease can negatively affect your oral health. When it is not managed, it may cause long-term damage to your teeth, jawbone, and gums. To make sure your gums remain healthy, Dr. Matthew Ward at Bay City Dental Center recommends regular bi-annual cleanings and annual dental exams. If Dr. Ward detects gum disease, he will create a treatment plan and discuss your gum disease treatment options. Keeping your gums healthy is an important part of both your oral and overall health. Though it is a progressive disease, it's better to catch it in the early stages while it's still reversible in Bay City, MI.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums. It occurs for many reasons, including genetics, poor oral hygiene, smoking, and even diabetes. Over time, without proper oral care, plaque can build up on teeth and cause extreme inflammation and irritation in your gums. When plaque accumulates, you will begin to experience gum disease symptoms.

What are the stages of gum disease?

Periodontal disease is broken up into four different stages, including:

  1. Gingivitis: This is the only stage that is reversible as it hasn’t attacked the bones yet. Bleeding gums is one of the first symptoms experienced. However, most symptoms are painless, which makes periodontal disease so common. Good oral hygiene, regular dental exams, and routine dental cleanings help treat and reverse gingivitis.

  2. Slight periodontal disease: Slight periodontal disease is the second stage of gum disease. While it isn’t reversible, it can still be managed. Once you reach stage two, the infection has spread to the bones and has begun destroying them. Bacteria have become more aggressive, which can lead to bone loss. Scaling and root planing are used to deep clean the teeth and gums.

  3. Moderate periodontal disease: The third stage of periodontal disease has more probing depths, which means that even more bacteria has attacked the bones and the bloodstream. Dr. Ward uses scaling and root planing to thoroughly clean the area.

  4. Advanced periodontal disease: The final stage of periodontal disease occurs when the infection has evolved into disease-causing bacteria. This causes red, swollen gums that ooze pus, tooth sensitivity, loose teeth, painful chewing, severe bad breath, and severe bone loss. This stage requires periodontal surgery or laser therapy to clean the deep bacteria-filled periodontal pockets. When left untreated, stage four can lead to gaps, the need for dentures, gum recession, and other health problems.

Treating periodontal disease quickly is important. At Bay City Dental Center, we teach our patients in Bay City, MI good oral hygiene habits that help them to halt the progression of gum disease.

What are some common gum disease symptoms?

Gum disease symptoms can range from mild to severe. Signs of gingivitis include: soreness, redness, swollen gums, and bleeding gums. You begin to experience permanent damage because your gums begin to recede from your teeth. When this happens, it allows food and bacteria to get trapped in these periodontal pockets. Ultimately, your oral health is critical to maintaining your overall health. Advanced stages of periodontal disease have been linked to specific types of heart disease and other conditions. At Bay City Dental Center, Dr. Ward can help diagnose and treat gum disease for patients of all ages.

Why gums hurt when eating

Some of the most common causes of the gums hurting and swelling when eating, include:

  • Food particles stuck in the teeth

  • Gingivitis

  • Pregnancy

  • Infection

  • Poorly fitted crown, denture, or dental appliance

To learn if gum disease is the cause of your swollen gums when eating, schedule a dental exam with Dr. Ward today.

Treat gum disease early for optimal oral health

At Bay City Dental Center, located near Saginaw and Midland, MI, Dr. Matthew Ward helps his patients manage their oral health. When you notice signs of gum disease in Bay City, MI, please come in right away. It is much easier to treat during the early stages. Periodontitis and advanced periodontitis cause permanent damage. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Ward to learn about gum disease treatment today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.