Imagine getting ready for bed, getting into your pajamas, and brushing your teeth — only to notice your gum looks swollen around one tooth! It can be pretty scary to spot problems with your gums, and you might think something is wrong with your oral health. While it is always better to visit a periodontist for a check-up, that doesn’t mean there is a severe complication. From poor oral hygiene to tooth abscesses, swollen gums can indicate a number of factors. In this blog, we will explain why your gums look inflamed and what to do about it.

Possible Reasons Your Gum is Swollen Around One Tooth

Here are some reasons why your gum is swollen around one tooth:

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene: If you are not diligent with your oral care, it allows food debris and bacteria to stick to your teeth as well as your gums. As a result, decay and inflammation occur, which can lead to gum disease if neglected for a long time. You might notice red, pale, swollen, and bleeding gums, along with other symptoms if this is the case.
  2. Abscess: When decay progresses, it reaches an advanced stage where a hole appears in the affected tooth, known as a cavity. Gradually, an abscess form — which can be described as a pus-filled pocket on gum or gum becomes swollen around a single tooth. From pain to fever to swelling in the gum and jaw, an abscess brings a lot of discomforts. If you suspect an abscessed tooth, immediately visit your doctor to avoid further complications.
  3. Gum Disease: When bacteria manages to infect the gum tissue surrounding a tooth, it often results in inflammation and periodontal disease. So if you have experienced symptoms such as bleeding gums, tender gums, loose teeth, and receding gums — do not waste any time in contacting a dental specialist. You will need periodontal treatment to eliminate gum disease and associated symptoms.

What Puts You at Risk of Gum Disease

Although anyone can be diagnosed with gum disease, a few factors increase the possibility of gum disease, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Medical conditions
  • Defective fillings
  • Medications that cause dry mouth
  • Crooked teeth

My Gum is Swollen Around One Tooth; What Should I Do?

If you have swollen gum around one tooth, here are a few ways o treat it:

  1. Saltwater Rinse: It is highly recommended to rinse your mouth with half a teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of lukewarm water daily to reduce inflammation. Do it two to three times daily for promising results!
  2. Incision & Drainage: As effective as saltwater rinse may be, consulting a periodontist is still important. For an abscess, they might make an incision into the swollen region to drain the infection out and proceed to either pack it or allow it to heal by itself.
  3. Medications: In some instances of infection, the dentist will first prescribe a course of antibiotics. If it doesn’t show improvement, they might proceed with another treatment. Sometimes, the medication is for the infection to go so the dentist can perform another procedure, avoiding complications.
  4. Scaling & Root Planing: Deep cleaning of teeth and gums by a professional might be effective in getting rid of gum disease symptoms.
  5. Root canal: If your gum is swollen around one tooth due to an infection, a root canal procedure can help restore it, saving you from extraction. But if the issue still persists, tooth extraction might be mandatory.

Prevention Tips

Here are some tips to prevent swollen gum around braces:

  • Regular brushing
  • Floss or use other interdental tools
  • Dental examination and cleanings twice a year
  • Refrain from smoking


Gum disease, poor oral hygiene, and an abscess could be why you have swollen gum around one tooth. However, an expert periodontist will be able to help you restore your oral health and prevent any complications. Our team of skilled professionals at Gateway Family Dentistry is awaiting to welcome you! Dial 661-829-7905 to receive effective treatment for your dental concerns. Our dental clinic is also located at 13029 Stockdale Hwy, # 100, Bakersfield, CA 93314.

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