Why is my gum swollen around one tooth?

Table of Contents

You are brushing your teeth and you notice your gums are swollen and red. You might ask yourself “why is my gum swollen around one tooth?” Several reasons can cause gum swelling, such as poor oral hygiene, untreated cavity, abscessed tooth, stuck foods, or gum disease. We will go through them and tell you how you can prevent them from happening.

7 possible reasons why your gum is swollen around one tooth

So let’s talk about this. What are some possible reasons why your gum is swollen around one tooth? Well, there are a few reasons. Some of the reasons are just simple, require no medical attention, and could be resolved by home remedies. On the other hand, we have reasons that might be more serious and could lead to more serious problems such as gum disease. If you find yourself asking “why is my gum swollen around one tooth?”, here are the reasons behind it.

We will talk about each reason in detail and give you a suitable treatment as well.

Maybe untreated cavity is the problem

Cavity! Our nemesis! When it comes to oral health there is nothing worse than cavities. They show up as little brown or black dots on teeth but if not taken care of can turn into a real problem. The problem is infection and swollen gums. An untreated cavity can even cause facial swelling. So before asking why is my gum swollen around one tooth better check for cavities.

Treatments for this problem

Visit your dentist as soon as possible! Cavities are not friendly and they get worse if not taken care of. And unfortunately, there is not much you can do to treat them at home. Cavity filling is one of the most common treatments. If the cavity is not that severe, your dentist will remove it, clean the area, and use a filling to fix it. If you have more questions about the process, you can read our article on how dentists fix cavities on your tooth. In more severe cases, you might need a root canal, a dental crown treatment, or even a tooth extraction.

So before reaching the point of no return, contact us and make your appointment.

You may have a gum disease

Periodontal diseases, more commonly referred to as gum disease, can lead to swollen gum around your tooth. One of the symptoms of gum disease is swelling of the gum tissue around one or multiple teeth. Untreated gingivitis will bring on a multitude of problems, and a swollen gum is the least of them. Gum redness and tooth abscess are some of the other problems.

Treatment options

Depending on the stage and advancement of your form of gum disease, there are different treatments. The most effective and common treatment would be deep teeth cleaning, also known as tooth scaling and root planing. In this method of treatment, the dentist removes all the tartar and plaque buildup from the teeth, gum pockets, and under the gum line. Not only it is a great treatment for gum disease but it is also a preventative method for it. In severe and more advanced cases of periodontal disease, if it involves any bone loss or even tooth loss, the patient might require bone grafting. If there is excessive gum recession, a gum graft would be a good treatment.

If you’re worried your gum disease is a more severe case, and suspect you’re suffering from bone loss, you can read our article where we discuss 11 signs you might have bone loss for more information, before checking in with a dentist.

You may have an abscessed tooth

An abscessed tooth can cause your gums to become swollen around just one tooth. What is an abscessed tooth then? An abscessed tooth is a nasty kind of bacterial infection of teeth with the accumulation of pus that leads to inflammation.

What is the treatment option?

The treatment for an abscessed tooth is a root canal. In most cases, only a single tooth would be involved and the dentist will first cut and drain the pus from the infected area. Then based on the condition of the tooth involved your dentist will decide if extraction is necessary. In the worst-case scenario, the patient might end up with gum surgery. And all of these will be accompanied by oral antibiotics to complete the treatment.

You need to give priority to your oral hygiene

Yes, taking care of our oral and dental hygiene plays an important role in having normal and healthy gum tissue. Proper oral care is necessary when it comes to preventing periodontal diseases. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly will ensure the safety of your gum tissue. This doesn’t mean brushing harshly or using toothbrushes with rough bristles. Doing so can cause more harm than good.

What steps to take for proper oral hygiene?

Well, there are a few steps that you can take in order to help build a good dental habit that will help you with your dental health and overall well-being. So, building good dental hygiene habits is the best treatment. The first and most important step is brushing your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes. This helps keep those nasty bacteria and food particles in check, so they would not turn into plaque. But brushing can’t get all those food particles.

So, what can you do for the next step? Floss! Flossing prevents the formation of plaques between the teeth. But these are just the basics. Dentists recommend using a fluoride toothpaste for brushing. Also, use an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash, especially after eating, to get rid of food particles and bad breath. Following these simple instructions will eventually pay off and you will see a great improvement in your mouth health.

If you are already brushing your teeth two times a day but do not see any improvement or even have dental problems, it could be because of improper brushing. Ask your dentist for tips on daily brushing to help you better your oral health.

Sneaky stuck foods 

Yes, sometimes it is as simple as that. Have you ever had popcorn? Those pesky little kernels get stuck, and sometimes they even hurt! There are a lot of nooks and crannies in our mouths and food debris could end up anywhere in them. Sometimes they get lodged in places that they shouldn’t, such as between our teeth or in our gum pockets. It could irritate our gum tissue and cause our gums to swell and turn red. So, next time your asking why is my gum swollen around one tooth think about what you had for lunch or as a snack. It might be the answer.

Solutions to this issue

To solve this problem you most probably need something stronger than a rinse. You can use an interdental brush also called an interproximal brush or a dental floss toothpick to remove the stuck food debris. Another option that you might have heard of nowadays is an oral irrigator or more commonly known as a water flosser. It is a home dental care device that uses pressurized water to remove food debris and plaque from your teeth. You can invest in one because they can be a bit pricey, but they have proven to be effective when it comes to gum health and preventing gingival swelling.

Vitamin deficiency shouldn’t be ignored

One of the ways that our body communicates its needs and deficiencies is through our gums. The swollen gum around one tooth happening specifically because of a vitamin deficiency is pretty rare, but not impossible. Having a vitamin C or B deficiency can show up as swollen gum.

What can be done?

If the cause of gum swelling is vitamin deficiency, the first step to take is to change your diet and eating habits to help with vitamin intake. Eating foods that help with your teeth, gums, and oral health, in general, is the best way to tackle the problem. If you are already following a good diet, it would be sensible to add some dietary supplements to help with your vitamin intake during the day. Before changing anything talk with your dentist and see what recommendation they have for you.


Well, what doesn’t it change? People whose bodies go through pregnancy experience a lot of changes and one of those body parts is the gums. The chances of gingivitis are higher in pregnant people. This is due to the massive hormone shift that happens during pregnancy.

Keep in mind

It is best to go to the dentist more often during pregnancy so that they can check for any early symptoms of gum disease. Based on the patient’s situation and other health issues during their pregnancy, the dentist will provide the best line of treatment.

Well, we have covered the telltale signs of swollen gum around one tooth and their treatments so far. But these all required medical attention. Let’s move on to some home remedies and preventative methods that you can easily do at home to help with gum redness and swelling.

Home remedies for swollen gums around one tooth

In this part, we are going to give you some useful home remedies and life hacks to help you with your dental health and prevent developing periodontal diseases. Remember these are not to be a replacement for oral hygiene practices recommended by dentists or dental hygienists. Now here are some common and useful home remedies to help with your swollen gum.

  • Saltwater rinse
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cold compress
  • Turmeric gel
  • Tea tree or peppermint oil

Let’s go through the simple instructions to follow for the recommended home remedies and how we can use them with the best results.

Saltwater rinse

Our trusty friend the saltwater rinse. Simply mix a teaspoon of salt in a small glass of fresh water. Swish it for at least 2 minutes in your mouth and then spit. Salt has antimicrobial properties and helps with keeping nasty bacteria in check. We recommend doing this 2 or 3 times a day until the gum swelling is gone.

Hydrogen peroxide

Another rinse that we can trust to help with those bad bacteria in the mouth. Use the cap of the hydrogen peroxide bottle as a measurement and pour one capful into a glass of water, mix it well and then swish it in your mouth for 2 to 3 minutes. You can repeat this 2 or 3 times a week to ease your swollen gum.

Cold compress

Applying a cold compress to your face to ease and numb the pain and discomfort in your swollen gum would be the easiest trick in the book. You can use an icepack or just wet a towel and put it in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes until it is semi-frozen. Then apply it to the area on your face to help with your swollen gum.

Turmeric gel

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that make it so useful when it comes to reducing inflammation. Before applying the turmeric gel, gently brush your teeth. Apply the gel to your gums and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse your mouth with fresh water and do not swallow. Repeat this 2 times a day until your gum is not swollen anymore.

Tea tree or peppermint oil

Both of these essential oils have antiseptic properties and can be used to calm down swollen gums. Simply put 2 to 3 drops of either tea tree oil or peppermint oil in a glass of warm water and swish it in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds. Spit it out and do not swallow. You can repeat this 2 times a day until the gum swelling is over.

FAQ about gum swollen around one tooth

So here we have gathered some frequently asked questions related to swollen gum around one tooth. This part is a short and quick answer to your questions. Maybe you are busy or do not have the patience to go through the whole article and just need a quick answer to your problem. We have tried to answer them as quickly and shortly as possible to make it easier for you. So let’s go through them.

Why is my gum swollen around one tooth and bleeding?

When the gum around one tooth becomes swollen, it means the bloodstream through gum tissue in that area has increased and therefore it is more susceptible to bleeding. That is why where your gum is swollen around one tooth and bleeding. There is simply more blood and it is more sensitive.

Why is my gum swollen around one tooth after flossing?

This could be because the gum around that one tooth is already swollen and sensitive. Flossing could irritate the swollen gum and make it bleed. This also could be a sign of vitamin deficiency or early-on damage from gingivitis.

Why is my gum swollen around one tooth with braces?

Braces already cause a lot of stress in the mouth. Also, there is less access when you have your braces still, so, there is a higher chance of plaque buildup. This could lead to irritation and swollen gum around one tooth.

Why is my gum swollen around one tooth with no pain?

The swollen gum around one tooth doesn’t always represent pain. If there is no severe gum disease involved, you might not feel any pain.


Having swollen gum around one tooth could happen to anyone. The best way to fight it is to have and maintain a good oral hygiene routine. In less severe situations, you can manage your swollen gum with some useful home remedies as well. Also, keeping up with your dentist’s appointments can be very helpful in keeping any form of gingivitis at bay.

For further questions about gum and dental health, you can contact us! Our medical assistants at Dentfix will be happy to help you with your inquiries as soon as possible.


-Ripari F, Cera A, Freda M, Zumbo G, Zara F, Vozza I. Tea Tree Oil versus Chlorhexidine Mouthwash in Treatment of Gingivitis: A Pilot Randomized, Double Blinded Clinical Trial. Eur J Dent. 2020 Feb;14(1):55-62. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1703999. Epub 2020 Mar 13. PMID: 32168532; PMCID: PMC7069753.



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