Several reasons influence whether you will experience gum pain at some point. Practicing good dental hygiene through regular brushing and flossing is the foundation of good oral health. Yet even those practices may not keep gum pain away forever. Persistent gum pain, swelling, or sores on your gums that don’t go away in a few days are reasons to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Even if it doesn’t come to a visit, it’s worth understanding the causes of gum pain.
5 Common Causes of Gum Pain
There is a broad spectrum of ailments which result in common gum pain. Some are more avoidable than others. Below we discuss five common causes of gum pain and review how you can take care of your teeth to avoid these problems.
1. Excessive Brushing and Flossing
This first cause of tooth gum pain may sound counterintuitive. How could brushing and flossing possibly create an issue? Isn’t more brushing and flossing always the best thing for your teeth? The truth is that brushing and flossing technique matters. Overly aggressive brushing can irritate the gums and may even lead to recessive gums if unchecked over time.
Toothbrushes with stiff, hard bristles should also be avoided. They do not clean your teeth any better than soft-bristled toothbrushes. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends always using a toothbrush with soft bristles. When it comes to flossing, if you are a regular flosser, bleeding from the gums should not be common. If you notice your gums bleeding after a round of flossing, you are likely being too aggressive.
2. Gum Disease
Gum disease is another common cause of gum pain. Red, swollen, or bleeding gums could indicate the presence of gum disease. This is sometimes a result of neglecting to brush and floss your teeth. Gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease, with periodontitis being a more advanced form. More often than not, gum disease is reversible through proper brushing and flossing. Your dentist may also recommend using mouthwash to further bolster your oral hygiene regimen.
Allergies are not usually thought of when dealing with gum pain. But it’s more common than you might think. Many people are allergic to one or more ingredients in toothpaste, mouthwash, or other oral healthcare products. Simply changing the product you use one at a time can help you figure out if a certain product was bothering your gums. Allergies that cause gum pain also apply to food. Practicing an elimination diet where you take out foods that seemed to precede your gum pain is a simple approach for determining the cause. An allergy specialist can also help determine what problem foods have been causing your gum tooth pain.
4. Tobacco Use
Most people associate tobacco use with the potential for cancer. But it brings a host of other risks as well, one being nerve pain. Smoking cigarettes and cigars can damage the gums resulting in gum discomfort. Moreover, smokeless tobaccos are often even worse for your gums. Tobacco also causes other oral problems like discolored teeth. Solving gum pain related to tobacco use necessitates quitting.
5. Hormonal Changes
This cause of gum pain is specific to women. Hormone changes during different life stages can often lead to some gum pain. Periods of hormonal change that might involve gum pain include:
If you are experiencing gum pain as a result of hormonal changes, work with your dentist to figure out the best approach to treatment.
Solve the Causes of Gum Nerve Pain at Columbia Smiles
Gum nerve pain may be solvable, therefor you may not need to live with the problem. Most causes of gum pain are easily solved through simple interventions like proper brushing and flossing or simple lifestyle changes.
Columbia Smiles, led by Dr. Michael Hsu, is here to help you solve any lingering gum issues so you can think more about your winning smile and less about your gums. Call us at 410.690.4855 today to learn more about how we can help address the causes of tooth gum pain.