Swollen Gums

Periodontist in St. Louis, Missouri

Swollen gums are a common symptom of periodontal disease and other oral health issues. Characterized by puffiness, redness, and tenderness, swollen gums can lead to discomfort and even serious dental problems if left untreated. At Schlueter Periodontics & Implants in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Scott Schlueter and Dr. Trinity Boszko specialize in diagnosing and treating swollen gums, ensuring you receive the best care tailored to your specific needs.

What are Receding Gums?

Receding gums are one of the warning signs of periodontal disease. Other symptoms of periodontal disease include bleeding and puffy gums. Receding gums occur when the gums and the bone in the mouth begin to move away from the tooth. This can cause long-term problems, and without treatment, tooth loss may be imminent.

Swollen Gums
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Symptoms of Swollen Gums

Swollen gums can present various symptoms, including:

  • Redness and Puffiness: Inflamed gums that appear swollen and discolored.
  • Bleeding: Gums that bleed easily, especially when brushing or flossing.
  • Tenderness and Pain: Gums that are sore to the touch or during eating.
  • Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath caused by bacteria buildup.
  • Receding Gums: Gums that pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth or its root.

Causes of Swollen Gums

Understanding the causes of swollen gums can help in preventing and treating this condition effectively. Common causes include:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Neglecting regular brushing and flossing can lead to the accumulation of plaque at the gum line. The bacteria in plaque release toxins that irritate and inflame the gums, causing them to swell.


Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease, characterized by gum inflammation without affecting the bone. It is often reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional dental care.


If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that affects the bone supporting the teeth. This can lead to significant swelling, bleeding, and eventual tooth loss.

Crooked Teeth and Improper Bite

Teeth that are misaligned or fillings that do not balance the bite can create uneven pressure on the gums, leading to inflammation and recession.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Chronic grinding or clenching of teeth exerts excessive pressure on the gums, causing them to become inflamed and recede over time.

Brushing Technique

Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can damage the gums, causing them to swell and recede. Conversely, inadequate brushing and flossing can also lead to poor gum health.

Systemic Health Issues

Overall health, including stress and sleep habits, can impact gum health. Conditions like diabetes, hormonal changes during pregnancy, and medications can also contribute to gum inflammation.

Treatment Options for Swollen Gums

At Schlueter Periodontics & Implants, we offer a variety of treatment options tailored to the severity of your condition:

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Professional Cleaning: Thorough removal of plaque and tartar to reduce inflammation.
  • Scaling and Root Planing: Deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line.
  • Antibiotics: Medications to control bacterial infection and reduce gum inflammation.

Surgical Treatments

  • LANAP® Laser Treatment: A minimally invasive, FDA-approved laser procedure that targets and removes diseased tissue without the need for scalpel or sutures.
  • Gum Grafting: Techniques to restore and reinforce receding gums.
  • Bone Grafts: Procedures to rebuild bone lost to periodontal disease.
  • Pocket Reduction Surgery: Procedures to reduce the depth of gum pockets.

Preventing Swollen Gums

Preventing swollen gums involves maintaining good oral hygiene and addressing risk factors. Here are some essential tips:

  • Brush Regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss Daily: Flossing removes plaque from between teeth and under the gum line.
  • Use Mouth Rinse: Antimicrobial mouth rinses can help reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis.
  • Regular Dental Checkups: Routine visits to your periodontist for professional cleanings and checkups.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of gum disease and impairs healing.
  • Healthy Diet: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports overall oral health.

Why Choose Schlueter Periodontics & Implants?

At Schlueter Periodontics & Implants in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Scott Schlueter and Dr. Trinity Boszko are committed to providing personalized, compassionate care for all your periodontal needs. Our practice philosophy emphasizes honesty, integrity, and conservative treatment approaches, ensuring you receive the highest quality care. We utilize advanced technology and the latest techniques to treat swollen gums effectively and comfortably.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing symptoms of swollen gums or have any concerns about your oral health, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our expert staff is here to answer your questions and help you achieve better oral health and a more attractive smile.

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