Swollen teeth can vary from a trifle to a serious gum health issue depending upon the underlying pathology. This might be found accidentally in your mouth when it is painless or may present as a painful condition, in which the pain is as much as you may not be able to touch it. The reason for this condition may vary from simple irritation from some retained food or infection with some microbes which are usually bacterial in origin.
There are many causes for a swollen tooth. These vary from poor hygiene to inflammation of gums or bacterial infection. Following is a list of common causes for swollen teeth:
- Poor hygiene: Swollen teeth can develop due to poor hygiene as the debris which remains and collects at the margin of your gums and is decay can lead to microbial attack on your gums and lead to this condition. Poor hygiene may develop despite of daily brushing of your teeth as improper brushing and flossing will not clean the edges of gums and the hidden sites of your teeth. Poor hygiene may present itself as pale gums or red gums, foul breath from mouth, foul taste of mouth, pus discharge from gums, etc.
- Vitamin C deficiency: Swollen tooth can be sign of Vitamin C deficiency. In this condition you may have other signs as well like swollen tongue, easily bleeding gums, etc. Vitamin C can become deficient in your body easily as it is water soluble vitamin and hence can be excreted and exhausted easily from the body. To correct this condition, amount of Vitamin C should be taken as supplements and should be included in your diet as well.
- Gum disease: Swollen teeth, or ideally should be called as swollen gums, can be a sign of some gum disease. As our mouth contain bacteria, these combine with the left-out debris and mucus in our mouth and forms plaque at first. If not removed at that time, then these germs in mouth infects the gums of your teeth, which leads to counter reaction by our body, leading to inflammation of our gums. Depending upon the severity it can occur in two forms:
-Gingivitis: This is a mild gum disease characterized by red and swollen gums which bleed easily while brushing or flossing. Earlier you treat them, better and faster reversal of the gum health will result.
-Periodontitis: When gingivitis is not treated, it may develop into this condition. This condition is characterized by retracted, swollen, tender and/ or bleeding gums with increased sensitivity, painful chewing and looseness of teeth. Retracted gums are further prone to infection and may cause deeper infection into the roots of teeth.
- Tooth abscess: This may occur in a decayed tooth especially when it is decayed at its root. This occurs when the infection from the decayed site spread further into the root and gum. This starts with tooth ache and present as swollen gum with pus inside, painful and tender gum, foul breath, swollen jaw, painful chewing and may include fever as well. This condition should be treated as soon as possible as the infection might spread further.
- Irritation from wisdom tooth can also lead to swelling. This happens when wisdom tooth attempts to break out. In some people it can spurt out easily without causing much trouble. But in most of the people it causes noticeable recurrent trouble especially when it has got very little or diverted path to spurt out. In such cases removal of this tooth is recommended by the dentists.
As described above, symptoms of swollen tooth vary with the underlying causes. The common symptoms among all the above stated conditions are described below:
- Swollen gum
- Pain in tooth
- Increased sensitivity for hot and cold food
- Foul breath
- Foul taste in mouth
- Swelling of jaw, etc.
There are some factors which increase the chances of having a swollen tooth. These are listed below:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Poor hygiene
- Crooked teeth
- Defective tooth fillings
- Dry mouth
- Imbalanced dietary habits
- Systemic disorders affecting oral health, etc.
- Teeth swelling can be prevented by practicing some easy to follow instructions which are described below:
- Brush your teeth following proper technique and should be done after meals and before bedtime.
- Floss your teeth once daily.
- Maintain the moisture in your mouth by frequent sipping of water. Don’t let your mouth remain too dry for a long time.
- Include citric fruits in your diet.
Along with medicinal treatment some measures can be taken at home to increase speed of recovery. For example, rinse your mouth with salt water which help in preventing tartar accumulation over teeth and help in maintaining a germ-free mouth. Under medicinal intervention, there are many Homeopathic medicines for swollen teeth which are given according to the symptom similarity of the patient with the medicine along with the individuality of the patient. It is recommended to consult a registered homeopathic physician for the prescription of your medicines. Following is a list of best homeopathic medicines for swollen teeth which are used frequently in practice:
Apis mellifica: Indicated for swelling of teeth especially when the person is over-sensitive to slight touch. When the pain accompanies burning sensation in the affected area with stinging pains and the swelling appears to have a red rosy hue, soreness and intolerance for heat.
Calcarea sulphurica: It is a biochemic remedy which helps in eczema and skin eruptions, boils, pimples, swollen, tender gums that bleed easily.
Chamomilla: For swelling of teeth with pain which gets aggravated from anything warm taken into mouth and from coffee. Pain is unbearable and gets worse from heat.
Mercurius solubilis: This medicine s indicated when there are swollen gums which are spongy, recede downwards and bleed easily. This accompanies pain which gets worse from touch and from chewing. Also, for fetid odor from mouth when it accompanies swollen teeth.
Mercurius iodatus ruber: For swollen gums with pain in teeth. Indicated especially when accompanies swelling of peripheral glands.
Phosphorus: One of the best medicines for swollen and easily bleeding gums which may or may not ulcerate. Tongue appears to be dry, smooth, red or white and not thickly coated. Especially indicated when accompanied by thirst for very cold water.