Our gums are probably one of the most underappreciated of all the body parts. Besides holding your teeth firmly in place and allowing you to enjoy biting into a crisp apple or juicy corn on the cob, they protect your body from bacteria, germs, and disease.
But if you ever suffer an injury to your gums, you’ll be reminded of how sensitive they actually are. So, what should you do if you experience a gum injury?
Treating a Gum Injury
In the case of most gum injuries, bleeding will stop within minutes. In the meantime, you can help prevent complications by doing the following:
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with a mild saltwater solution.
- If the wound continues to bleed, press a damp piece of gauze or other clean material against the injury for a few minutes.
- If you’re experiencing severe pain, hold ice to the area of the wound for five or ten minutes. This should also help reduce swelling.
Sometimes, foreign objects (like food or wood splinters from toothpicks) can get stuck between the teeth and gums. If this happens, there could be a risk of infection.
If you feel that an object has gotten stuck under you gum, try to remove it using dental floss or a toothpick. Be careful not to further lodge the offending object. If this doesn’t work, contact our Carmichael dentists as soon as possible.
If left untreated, a gum injury could lead to a periodontal (gum) abscess. An abscess is a pus-filled sac that forms between your teeth and gums. Abscesses are very painful, and are often accompanied by a sudden, throbbing pain in or near the tooth, tenderness of the infected area, swelling, and possibly fever.
If you suspect you are suffering from a dental abscess, you should see a dentist immediately. Abscesses are serious infections that could spread to other parts of the body, causing major complications, and if left untreated, could even lead to death.