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Gum Pain When Brushing Teeth: Causes and What To Do About It

Gum Pain When Brushing Teeth

Experiencing gum pain when brushing teeth can certainly be alarming, and to prevent an issue from worsening, it’s best to address any signs of pain immediately. Oral hygiene is vastly important to the overall health of our bodies, and lack of oral care can lead to several tooth conditions such as periodontitis, gingivitis, and tooth decay. 

Quite often is the cause of gum pain a result of simple hygiene habits, but sometimes it can be a result of gum disease. As the progression of gum disease can lead to some pretty serious oral hygiene problems, here are some helpful tips to let you know exactly what to do if your gums hurt.

Causes of Gum Pain

The mouth is an extremely sensitive part of our bodies, and the cause of gum pain can be a multitude of underlying issues that negatively affect the health of our gums, cheeks, tongues, or teeth. Some individual oral hygiene and life choice that can explain why your gums hurt when brushing teeth include:

  • Rough Brushing and Flossing – Sometimes we scrub or floss too hard to make sure our teeth and gums are as clean as they can be. While teeth can generally withstand rough prolonged brushing (though it can lead to loss of tooth enamel), the gums are much more delicate. This can lead to inflammation and pain, but can easily be taken care of. Consider using a soft bristle toothbrush, and scrub in gentle circular motions instead of back and forth. For flossing, it’s best to follow the curve of your teeth, and be delicate as you go.
  • Mouth Ulcers and Canker Sores – Mouth ulcers are painful, non-contagious sores that appear on our gums and sometimes on the lips and inner cheek. Though their cause is mostly unknown, many indications denote a relation with viral or bacterial infections. There’s no recommended treatment for these sores, and they usually disappear within 14 days of onset. Those with autoimmune diseases are also more likely to develop canker sores and ulcers.
  • Tobacco Use – Cigarettes, cigars, and other smokeless forms of tobacco can do damage to our gums. It’s always advised to avoid tobacco usage in general, but for those who find it difficult, brushing your teeth immediately after usage can clean things up.
  • Burns – Ever take a bite of pizza and burn your mouth? While pain that follows something like this should usually be obvious, we sometimes don’t realize when a burn happens, and this can certainly be a cause of gum pain. 
  • Abscessed Tooth – This is an infection that forms on the root of a tooth, and can trigger intense pain throughout the gums. A root canal is often advised as treatment.
  • Gum Disease – Some oral diseases may be the cause of gum pain. Gingivitis is the most common type, and can usually be reversed with antibiotics if diagnosed early. Periodontitis on the other hand, is a less common, more severe disease that can lead to tooth and gum decay. These diseases are typically caused by improper oral hygiene, whether it’s a lack of brushing or flossing, or other factors like tobacco.

What To Do If Gums Hurt

Sometimes simple life choice decisions can be altered to alleviate gum pain, whether it’s cutting down on tobacco usage, consistently brushing and flossing twice a day, or considering an electric toothbrush for a healthy and more gentle clean. But if pain persists, it’s always advised to see a dentist sooner than later to avoid more serious complications.

Dr. Hank Barreto is the leading holistic dentist in the Miami/Coral Gables area, providing an alternative approach to caring for teeth and gums that focuses on the relationship between the health of the mouth and the health of the rest of the body. Dr. Hank Barreto has more than 25 years of experience with holistic, biological dentistry, and is always eager to help you meet your health goals.

Our holistic approaches to dentistry include preventive care, general care, pediatric services, aesthetics, orthodontics, and much more. We have also provided plenty of insights into proper gum care and other oral hygiene tips, to ensure that the health of your mouth and body are in total harmony. For more information regarding our services, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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