We’ll admit that flossing isn’t exactly fun. But if you’re dealing with bleeding or tender gums, you most likely dread flossing. Do you find yourself asking, “Why do my gums hurt?” If so, resist the temptation to load up on pain medicine, and figure out what is causing your issue instead. Painful gums have a variety of causes, and the longer you avoid the problem, the worse it may get. Luckily, you don’t have to live with the pain if you take action early.
Why Do My Gums Hurt?
Reason #1: You’re brushing and flossing too hard.
Sometimes too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Using gentle pressure when you brush your teeth can help remove stubborn plaque, but too much pressure can actually wear down your enamel and damage your gums. In addition, when you floss, make sure you’re not aggressively forcing the floss between tight teeth, as this can also damage your gums. Each time you injure your gums, they can become painful and swollen. To prevent further gum injury, switch to a soft-bristle toothbrush and brush gently. If your teeth are positioned close together, start using a water flosser.
Reason #2: You have gum disease.
A gum disease diagnosis is never good news. However, once you have a diagnosis, you can make strides to get better. Gum disease is the result of failing to brush and floss regularly. Over time, bacteria can make its way underneath your gums and cause them to be tender, swollen, and red. If you have the early stages of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, you can actually reverse the disease by practicing good oral hygiene (source). If you have advanced gum disease, your dentist will most likely recommend a deep cleaning and/or surgery.
Reason #3: You have an allergy.
Have you recently switched toothpaste brands or eaten something out of the ordinary? Your painful gums might be the result of an allergy. To figure out what you’re allergic to, try ruling out your oral hygiene products one by one. Start by switching to a different toothpaste. If that doesn’t help, change out your mouthwash, and then your floss. If you think that your painful gums are the result of something you’re eating, request an allergy panel test from your doctor.
Reason #4: You have a hormonal imbalance.
Your hormones play a big role in your emotional and physical health – and more specifically, your oral health. Your hormones control the flow of blood to certain parts of your body, and they could be causing too much blood to flow to your gums. If you are pregnant or experiencing elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone during your menstrual cycle, you might have painful gums.
Reason #5: You have a canker sore.
Canker sores can be quite the nuisance, and if one shows up in an inconvenient spot like the gums above your teeth, you might be caught off guard. These sores only occur inside the mouth: on the tongue, inside the cheeks, inside the lips, or in the throat. If you have a canker sore, be extra gentle when brushing and flossing around the spot. These sores generally heal by themselves.
Are you still wondering, “Why do my gums hurt?” Make an appointment with your dentist to get to the bottom of the problem and come up with a care plan. If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist in Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. Schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or request an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!