Swollen gums

Also known as: gingival swelling

What are swollen gums?

The gums are the tissue that lines the jawbones. If the gums protrude or bulge, this swelling can be due to a number of issues. It may also cause the gums to appear red instead of pink and even cover the teeth in severe instances.

What might cause swollen gums?

Common causes of swollen gums include the following:

What are the treatment options?

Swollen gums can be soothed with gentle brushing and flossing, as well as rinsing with a saltwater solution. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding irritants like alcohol and tobacco can also help. A warm compress on the face can also reduce gum pain.

When should you seek medical attention?

Gums that remain swollen for two weeks or longer or are accompanied by other concerning symptoms are worth a discussion with your dentist to determine your treatment options.

Reviewed by: Paula Miranda Bucio, DMD

This page was last updated on: August 25, 2020 10:15 AM

Children's Dental Services

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital pediatric dentistry facilities meet the unique needs of healthy infants, children, and adolescents, while also addressing the special concerns of patients with complex medical and dental issues.

Learn more

Weekly Support Programs

Nicklaus Children's Dental Mobile Unit

The 40-foot mobile unit is Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s latest endeavor to assist families in need as part of its vision “to be where the children are” in South Florida and beyond. In addition to screenings and exams, services can include varnish treatments, dental sealants, oral and health hygiene education as well as referrals for follow-up oral treatment, to underserved families of children who do not have dental insurance. Learn more.

Learn more about

Periodontal Diseases

Periodontal disease is the medical term for gum disease. Learn more


When children are not getting the necessary nutrients and calories from the diet that they need for daily functioning and growth, this is known as malnutrition. Learn more