Gum Swollen Around One Tooth

January 21, 2023

Why Is My Gum Swollen Around One Tooth?

Swollen gums can understandably be worrying, and general swelling can often be caused by gingivitis, one of the early stages of gum disease. However, if you find yourself asking “why is my gum swollen around one tooth?”, it can be indicative of one of a number of issues.

Gum Disease


As mentioned before, gingivitis can lead to swollen gums. This is a possible cause of your swollen gums, but typically this would be more widespread in the mouth, rather than isolated to the gum around a single tooth.

Reactions to New Medications or Products, or Poor Nutrition

If you have recently started taking a new medication or have switched to a new brand of toothpaste or mouthwash, you could potentially have an adverse reaction to them. This could lead to swollen gums, but wouldn’t typically be isolated to the area around a single tooth. Similarly, nutritional deficiencies can lead to issues with the gums, but again, these issues would likely manifest in multiple locations in the mouth or across the entirety of the gums.

Trapped Food Debris

When food debris becomes trapped under the gums and isn’t cleared out quickly enough, it can lead to inflammation and, if not resolved, more serious issues. If you’re able to remove the debris by brushing or flossing, the swelling may then dissipate over the course of a few days.

Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess is a type of infection characterized by a sack of pus in the gums. They are caused by bacteria and can originate from a broken or otherwise damaged tooth, or can be an additional complication with gum disease. Signs that your swelling may be caused by an abscess can include a throbbing pain, the tooth feeling sore or tender, and even a fever.

Gum Agitation or Injury

Swelling of the gums can be a reaction to physical irritation or damage. This could be caused by poorly fitting dentures, retainers, or other dental products, or by being too rough when brushing or flossing the teeth. If you suspect this is the cause of your issues, you should take more care when brushing or enquire with your dentist about getting better-fitting products.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can be a contributor to many different issues including most of the others listed here. Thankfully, it is easy to address with a consistent regime of flossing, brushing, and rinsing with mouthwash. However, if you have had poor oral hygiene for a while, you may have developed issues that require more significant intervention.

What Should I Do Now?

Depending on the severity of the swelling, how long it’s been an issue, and whether you’re suffering from any other symptoms, you may be able to remedy the situation through careful but thorough flossing and brushing, and rinsing with mouthwash or salt water.

However, if the problem persists, the swelling is intense and painful, or you have any other concerns, you should arrange an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to treat the issue, whatever the cause, and make sure it hasn’t spread further. Your dentist will also be able to provide practical advice to stop the issue from reoccurring.

You should also be sure to attend regular check-ups with a dentist so that they can identify any minor issues and help you deal with them before they develop further.

If you have any issues related to your gums or dental health, contact our expert dentists at Kuljic DDS & Team.

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