Have you noticed sensitivity along your gum line after brushing? Your gums hurt, but what does this mean? It could be number of things, but it’s definitely not something to ignore. Let’s take a look at the common causes of gum pain and what to do about them.
What Causes Gum Pain?
There are many reasons gums hurt, swell, or bleed. If you have gum pain, the first step is to discover the cause and make some adjustments.
- Brushing and flossing too aggressively can harm your gums, especially if you use a hard-bristled toothbrush.
- Gum disease typically results from insufficient or inefficient oral care. In the early stages, gum disease can be corrected and reversed with proper care.
- Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, aren’t contagious, but they are painful and can appear on your gums. Usually, they occur due to an infection, but some autoimmune diseases and cancer trigger them as well.
- Tobacco use can damage your gums and cause pain.
- Allergies to certain foods and drinks, as well as dental hygiene products, may cause sores or sensitivity.
- An abscessed tooth results from an infection next to the root and can cause significant gum pain. If you have an abcessed tooth, you need to seek treatment from a dentist.
- In women, hormonal changes during certain parts of life, like pregnancy or menopause, can trigger gum sensitivity, swelling, and bleeding.
- Vitamin deficiencies, primarily vitamins B and C, can affect your gums.
How to Manage Gum Pain
Depending on the cause of your gum pain, you can manage it on your own until your next check-up. However, it’s important to keep track of the severity, duration, and symptoms surrounding your pain. In some cases, you may want to see your dentist sooner than later.
For pain related to brushing and flossing too aggressively, you may be able to resolve your problems with a soft-bristled brush and less pressure. Adjusting your oral care routine can also help gum pain related to gum disease, though you should see a dentist about your concerns.
If your gum pain is caused by allergies or tobacco use, it’s best to avoid the triggers altogether. Quitting all types of tobacco is recommended for your overall health, but it’s especially important for your oral health.
Gum pain related to autoimmune diseases, hormonal changes, and vitamin deficiencies can be alleviated by addressing the conditions. Let your dentist and your primary care physician know about your gum pain to create a treatment plan that addresses your gums.
When to Contact Your Dentist About Gum Pain
Some gum pain needs to be treated by a dental professional. Abscesses, oral cancer, and gum disease should be handled by your dentist as soon as possible. If you notice sores that last longer than two weeks, bleeding along your gum line, or swelling that doesn’t subside, contact your dentist for an appointment.
If you’re concerned about the health of your gums, the team at Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics is here for you. Book an appointment at the office nearest you and let us help you become gum pain-free.