Seven Reasons Your Gums Are Enlarged

Seven Reasons Your Gums Are Enlarged

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Swollen Gums
©Botazsolti/Shutterstock.com

Throughout your life, you may notice that your gums may sometimes get bigger from time to time.  There are many different reasons that your gums may be enlarged.

While it is widely known that if you don’t brush your teeth and floss regularly, you can develop gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums.  However, there are also many other reasons your gums may be getting bigger.

I mention seven of the more common reasons below, and then in the final paragraph I mention a few more less common causes of gingival (gum) enlargement.

Seven Reasons Your Gums May be Getting Bigger

Gums1 – You Have Gingivitis – Gingivitis is when the gums are overwhelmed by the amount of plaque on the teeth that they become red and puffy to try to fight the bacteria.  Without proper brushing, gingivitis won’t go away.  If you have red and puffy gums, you might want to see your dentist.  Your dentist will be able to prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash that can help reduce the swelling and get your gums back to their healthy coral pink color.

2 – Drugs are Causing Your Gums to Get Bigger – There are several drugs that can cause your gums to get bigger.  This condition is known as drug-induced gingival hyperplasia and can cause your gums to look like they are squeezing out of the spaces between your teeth and growing over your teeth.  There are a few categories of drugs that can cause this:

  • Anticonvulsants.  For example primidone, phenytoin, phenobarbital, topiramate, ethosuximide, valproate, lamotrigine, and vigabatrin.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers.  For example nifedipine and verapamil.
  • Immunosuppresants such as cyclosporine

3 – You Breathe Through Your Mouth A Lot – If find yourself breathing through your mouth very often, you can be irritating your gums.  If you have a stuffed up nose and can only breathe through your mouth, you may notice your gums getting slightly bigger.  It is presumed that since the air you breathe in is drying your gums, they compensate by enlarging the blood supply and getting puffier to ensure that they don’t dry out.

4 – Hormones can make your gums bigger.  Adolescents that are going through puberty are extremely susceptible to gingivitis.  Also, pregnant women are very susceptible to gingivitis due to the high levels of progesterone in their bodies.  Progesterone increases the permeability of the blood vessels in the gums.  Women taking birth control may also notice enlarged gums.

5 – Stress -If you are stressed out a lot, try to reduce it somehow.  If you need some help, here’s a resource to help you reduce stress.

6 – Vitamin C Deficiency – If you aren’t getting enough vitamin C in your diet, your gums can get really puffy and red.  I have seen this, and it’s not very pretty.  You can get vitamin C from most fruits, especially citrus fruits or from a multi-vitamin.

7 – Diseases can cause enlarged gums.  Certain diseases such as diabetes mellitus, leukemia, cancer, sarcoidosis, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and autoimmune diseases can all cause your gums to get bigger.

Conclusion

There are of course other reasons that can cause your gums to get bigger, but they aren’t too common.  For example, if a dentist puts a crown on a tooth and the crown has to go below the gum line, that can cause your gums to get irritated and big.  Heavy metal poisoning, immune disorders, substance abuse, and Down Syndrome are some other causes of bigger gums.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.  Thanks for reading!

3 COMMENTS

  1. Good morning

    I wear a denture with 4 front teeth on it,on a steel plate. I have a shiny hard lump over my canine tooth next to the tooth on my denture . It is hard,pink, not bleeding and seems to be covering part of the canine tooth.

    I have a fear of Dentists, but on my last visit three years ago, when I drew his attention to it,he said that it was not anything to worry about as this sometimes happens. It seemed smaller then.

    i am unsure what it is and wanted to ask if you can advise me and if there is any none surgical treatment to stop it getting bigger and covering my tooth entirely. I get a slight ache in the tooth sometimes, but that comes and goes as does not affect me in as much I need to take painkillers.

    What is it called and do you have any pictures of a similar gum problem so I can identify mine. Thank you.

  2. I have an issue with my teeth, its growing longer and larger. Each time i sleep saliva do comes out of my month. I feel so uncomfortable with it, please I need medical help. Thanks

  3. Hi, my right cheek is getting bigger, it started last sunday. Do i need to take this to the dentist? I do really have fear to doctors/dentist. And also i wear a denture. The pain is slowly changing. At first i can handle it but on the third day, when i wake up, it is really painful. I rate it from 1-10 and the pain is on 5. Please help me out.

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