Understanding Swollen Gums and Cheeks: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies

Swollen gums and cheeks can be not only uncomfortable but also concerning. These symptoms can arise due to a variety of underlying causes, ranging from minor irritations to more serious health issues. It’s crucial to understand the potential triggers, symptoms, and available remedies to address swollen gums and cheeks effectively.

Common Causes

  1. Gingivitis and Gum Disease: Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease characterized by redness, swelling, and inflammation of the gums. Poor oral hygiene, plaque buildup, and bacterial growth can lead to this condition. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease.
  2. Infections: Dental abscesses or infections can cause significant swelling in the gums and cheeks. These infections are usually caused by bacteria entering the tooth pulp, leading to pain, pus formation, and inflammation.
  3. Injury or Trauma: Accidental injuries, such as a blow to the face or mouth, can result in localized swelling of the gums and cheeks. This swelling might be accompanied by pain and bruising.
  4. Allergic Reactions: Some individuals might experience an allergic reaction to certain foods, medications, or dental products. This can lead to swelling in the mouth, including the gums and cheeks.
  5. Impacted Wisdom Teeth: When wisdom teeth do not have enough space to emerge properly, they can become impacted, causing pain, swelling, and infection in the surrounding gums.
  6. Poorly Fitted Dental Appliances: Ill-fitting dentures, braces, or retainers can cause friction and irritation, leading to gum inflammation and swelling.
  7. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune disorders like lupus or certain blood disorders, can result in oral symptoms including swollen gums and cheeks.


Swollen gums and cheeks can be accompanied by a range of symptoms:

  • Redness and inflammation of the affected area
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Difficulty in chewing or speaking
  • Pus or discharge
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • A foul taste in the mouth
  • Fever, in cases of infections

Remedies and Management

  1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Regular brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent and manage gum inflammation.
  2. Warm Saltwater Rinses: Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water can help soothe swollen gums and promote healing.
  3. Over-the-Counter Pain Relief: Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen can provide temporary relief from discomfort and inflammation.
  4. Topical Gels and Ointments: Some over-the-counter gels containing benzocaine can provide numbing relief for sore gums.
  5. Avoid Irritants: If swollen gums are due to an allergic reaction, identifying and avoiding the trigger is essential.
  6. Medical Treatment: If the swelling is severe, persistent, or accompanied by fever, it’s crucial to seek professional dental or medical care. Dentists can provide antibiotics, drain abscesses, and recommend appropriate treatments based on the underlying cause.
  7. Wisdom Teeth Extraction: In cases of impacted wisdom teeth causing swelling and pain, the dentist might recommend extraction.
  8. Dental Appliances Adjustment: If ill-fitting dental appliances are the cause, getting them adjusted or replaced is necessary.


  • Regular Dental Visits: Routine dental check-ups can catch early signs of gum disease or infections, preventing complications.
  • Proper Oral Care: Brushing and flossing daily, along with using an antimicrobial mouthwash, can help prevent gum problems.
  • Balanced Diet: Consuming a diet rich in nutrients and low in sugary foods can promote overall oral health.
  • Hydration: Drinking water helps maintain saliva production, which is essential for oral health.
  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking can exacerbate gum problems and hinder healing.

Final Notes

Swollen gums and cheeks are not only uncomfortable but can also signal potential underlying health issues. Proper oral hygiene, early intervention, and seeking professional dental care when needed are key to managing and preventing these symptoms. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and effective remedies, individuals can take proactive steps toward maintaining optimal oral health and overall well-being.

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Zena is about to graduate in BA Hons Marketing Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University and plans on doing her Masters later this year.

Zena may look normal to an untrained eye even though she has an invisible disability. Thanks to a great support network she is able to fit into society and can get additional help, whenever she needs it.

Zena aspires to be a role model for young people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Zena is also 'The Assistant Editor' of Disability UK Disabled Entrepreneur Journal, and Cymru Marketing Journal (CMJUK). She works remotely which does not put a strain on her health. She writes, does social media management, content creation and digital marketing.

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