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Causes of Swollen Gum Around One Tooth and How to Treat It

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Having a swollen gum around one tooth can be pretty uncomfortable. This oral condition, known as localized gingival swelling, may arise due to various underlying factors.

Understanding the causes and seeking appropriate treatment is essential for relieving discomfort and maintaining excellent oral health. But how exactly can you get a swollen gum around one tooth, and what can you do to alleviate and prevent this issue?

This article delves deeper into the topic and enables you to find the correct answers by:

  • Determining the causes of a swollen gum around one tooth;
  • Highlighting medical treatments that can be used for the condition;
  • Exploring home remedies to treat and prevent the oral concern.

What Causes Swollen Gums Around a Tooth?

Numerous reasons may bring forth localized gingival swelling, including:


Gingivitis or gum infection is one of the most common causes of swollen gum around one tooth. This condition occurs when dental plaque builds up along the gumline for various reasons, including poor or inadequate oral hygiene.

In this case, the bacteria release toxins that may irritate the gums, leading to inflammation and swelling.

Dental abscess

A dental abscess is an oral condition caused mainly by untreated tooth decay. This painful infection can develop in or around an affected tooth.

A cracked tooth can also be a leading cause of a dental abscess, as it allows bacteria to penetrate the pulp. This infection spreads to the tooth’s root and affects surrounding gum tissues, causing localized swelling.

Gum trauma

A blow to the mouth or accidental trauma can cause swollen gums around one tooth. Even simple things can easily lead to gum trauma, such as using excessive force when brushing teeth. Ultimately, the affected area may become swollen and tender.

To be on the safe side, you can consider getting the best toothbrush for receding gums and protecting your gums.


Periodontitis, the other name for gum disease, is one of the leading causes of swollen gum around one tooth. When gingivitis, the earlier form of gum disease, is left untreated, it can become more severe.

This condition forces gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that may be breeding grounds for bacteria. The body’s response to these bacteria often leads to further gum inflammation and swelling, which may be localized.

Impacted wisdom tooth

An impacted wisdom tooth is one that doesn’t manage to emerge fully or adequately. This condition creates space between the gum and the partially erupted tooth, making cleaning difficult.

As a result, bacteria can accumulate in these spaces, which may lead to localized gum swelling.

Besides trauma and bacterial infections, numerous lesser-known causes of swollen gums around a tooth exist. For instance, some individuals may have allergic reactions to certain dental products, manifesting as swelling in the gum tissue surrounding a tooth.

Moreover, some people may experience hormonal fluctuations, more so during pregnancy or puberty, which can increase blood flow to the gums, making them more susceptible to swelling and inflammation.

Nevertheless, regardless of the causes of the swollen gum around one tooth, it is always advisable to seek immediate medical treatment. But what exactly can your dentist do to help?

Medical Treatment for Swollen Gums Around a Tooth

Whenever you experience swelling or pain in your gums around one tooth, it is advisable to seek medical attention. Depending on the cause and severity of the swelling, here are the top treatment options that your dentist may prescribe:

Dental cleaning
Dental cleaning

Dental cleaning comes in various forms, including scaling and root planing, all viable options for treating a swollen gum around a tooth. In most cases, professional dental cleaning is typically the first line of treatment against gingivitis and other early forms of gum disease.

The procedure involves scaling to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the tooth's surface and below the gum line. Root planing, on the other hand, smoothens the tooth root to discourage further plaque accumulation and promote gum reattachment.

You can get started by getting dental cleaning near me from expert dentists.

Root canal
Root canal

A root canal is a dental procedure that entails the removal of bacteria from infected tooth roots. Assuming the cause of the swelling of the gum is from deep within the tooth root, the dentist works to address the concern from the source through a root canal.

This procedure involves accessing the root via the crown, cleaning, and filling them up. In some cases, patients may require artificial crowns to help protect and restore their teeth.

Depending on the location of the concern, the dentist may also recommend a gingivectomy treatment.


In most cases, a swollen gum results from a bacterial infection. There are different instances that one can get affected by bacteria, such as a dental abscess.

If this is the cause of the swollen gums, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics which may be taken orally or applied directly to the affected area.

Tooth extraction
Tooth extraction

On other occasions, the dentist may remove an infected tooth that causes swelling of the gums. This may also be the impacted wisdom tooth, which ultimately eliminates the cause of the problem altogether.

Hormonal therapy
Hormonal therapy

Swelling of the gums may be a result of hormonal fluctuations. In this case, you may be put under hormonal therapy to help manage the symptoms.

Home Remedies for Swollen Gum Around One Tooth

As a rule of thumb, you should always seek medical attention in case you face discomfort, pain, or swelling in your gums.

However, there are a few things that you can do at home to provide temporary relief before seeking medical assistance. Some of the home remedies you can consider for swollen gum around one tooth include:

Antimicrobial mouthwash

Antimicrobial mouthwash may be recommended to eliminate or reduce bacteria in the mouth. This helps prevent further infection or inflammation before seeking treatment that targets the root cause of the issue.

Check out our list of the best mouthwash for gums to help you get started.

Saltwater rinse

A warm saltwater rinse can help reduce gum inflammation. It is also known to promote healing. To use a saltwater rinse, simply dissolve around a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gently swish it around your mouth for half a minute. Ensure to spit it out and repeat the process several times a day.

Cold compress

If you feel pain due to swollen gum around a tooth, an easy way to alleviate the symptoms would be to apply a cold compress to the affected area. This numbs the gums, reduces swelling, and provides relief from the discomfort before you seek medical assistance.

Turmeric paste

Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Mix turmeric powder with water to create a paste and apply it directly to the swollen gum. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing your mouth.


Honey has natural antimicrobial properties that can help reduce bacterial growth. Apply a small amount of natural honey directly to the swollen gum or mix it with warm water for a mouthwash.

Preventing Swollen Gums Around Teeth

Although specific causes of swollen gums around teeth may be unavoidable, there are various things that you can do to significantly reduce the chances of getting the condition. Some of the things you can do include:


Why is my gum swollen around one tooth?

There are many reasons why your gum may be swollen around one tooth, including dental abscess, gingivitis, gum disease, and gum trauma, among others.

Can swollen gums recover?

Yes, swollen gums can recover with appropriate care and treatment.

Can a tooth be extracted when the gum is swollen?

In some cases, a tooth can be extracted even when the gum is swollen. However, it is essential to address the swelling before considering an extraction.

Is gum swelling around one tooth always a sign of a gum disease?

While gum swelling around one tooth is often associated with gum disease, it is not always the case. Gum inflammation can result from various factors, including localized infections, abscesses, trauma, or even hormonal changes.

How long does gum swelling around one tooth take to heal?

The time it takes for gum swelling around one tooth to heal depends on the underlying cause and the individual's oral health. With proper treatment and adherence to oral hygiene practices, mild cases of gum swelling can improve within a few days to a week.


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