Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I go to the doctor if my gums are swollen?"
I think I have an infection in my gums because they are red and swollen. Should I go to the doctor and get medication or should I just ask my dentist about it?
It is important to maintain a healthy gum because it is not only important in your dental health, but in your overall well-being. Gums are made of delicate tissue and an inflammation is almost always a cause of concern. When your gums become swollen and sensitive, it can lead to gum disease. The swelling itself is often a result of white blood cells and fluids that are counteracting the action of the bacteria causing irritation and inflammation along the gum line. There are a few reasons why your gums become swollen. In most cases, swollen gums are linked to gingivitis, a very common oral problem that is caused by excess bacteria in the mouth. When you have gingivitis, you can expect to have red and bleeding gums and bad breath to go along with the swelling. In most cases of gum diseases, swollen gums are often a warning sign of a much more serous condition called periodontitis. If left untreated, periodontitis can worsen and ultimately lead to tooth loss. Apart from dental conditions, some diseases or deficiency conditions may also cause swollen gums. They include vitamin C deficiency, leukemia, tumors or abnormal growth on the gingiva, which may be harmless or can be cancerous, and certain drugs you take, etc. I would recommend an immediate visit with a dentist to have your oral health evaluated first. Your dentist may refer you to a physician if it is determined that your swollen gums are caused by a medical condition.
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