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Question: For about the past week I have had a sore throat, pain in my ears, and swollen gums. I was on a plane and I thought I may have picked something up there or I also ate a lot of fruit without washing it which I was thinking could be what is irritating my gums. What should I do to make this go away? Christine

Answer: Dear Christine,

In many cases an earache is accompanied by a sore throat. To obtain relief from this you may try taking over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen.

Swollen gums are usually either enlarged, bulging or protruding and are a common symptom of the following conditions:

- Gingivitis
- Sensitivity to toothpaste/mouthwash
- Vitamin C deficiency
- Pregnancy
- Malnutrition

The swollen gums should improve by themselves but it is recommended to visit a doctor if the swelling is severe, lasts for a long time and is painful.

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