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What Causes Gum Pain?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

Gum pain is frequently caused by harsh brushing, eating foods with sharp edges, and gum diseases such as gingivitis. Sometimes the cause of the pain is not immediately apparent, in which case getting examined by a dentist is a sensible choice. In some cases, such as harsh brushing and when sharp-edged food is lodged in the gum, the problem can go away with time and proper oral hygiene. Proper brushing technique coupled with regular visits to a dentist can go a long way toward preventing gum diseases.

Brushing the teeth too hard or with a brush that is too stiff can cause bleeding and significant, lingering gum pain. The key to avoiding gum pain caused by tooth brushing is usually to brush longer, not harder. Dentists typically recommend using a soft-bristled brush and brushing the teeth with gentle, short strokes. A powered toothbrush is a popular alternative to a regular toothbrush, and it is usually designed to always deliver short, gentle strokes.

To maintain gum health, regular brushing and flossing are essential.
To maintain gum health, regular brushing and flossing are essential.

Gum pain can also be caused by popcorn, flat biscuits, and other foods with sharp pieces that can become lodged in the gums. Sometimes the offending pieces are easily flossed or brushed out, but occasionally they are stuck too deep into the gums. When this happens, the gums usually begin to swell and sometimes begin to bleed. Swishing warm, salted water around in the mouth can help bring down the swelling enough to very gently floss the food out. If this does not work, it is probably necessary to see a dentist because leaving food lodged in the gum can lead to an infection.

Another common cause of gum pain is gingivitis. Essentially, gingivitis means inflamed gum tissue caused by a buildup of plaque on teeth. Gingivitis can normally be avoided by the application of normal dental hygiene techniques, but when it occurs it may cause the gums to become swollen, painful, and either bright red or purple.

Regular visits to a dentist can help prevent oral issues by receiving preventative care and advice on how to better take care of the gums and teeth. It is generally recommended to see this type of doctor every six months. Due to widely varying oral hygiene practices and eating habits, some people may need to go more often than six months, while others can safely go less. Any lingering gum pain should be mentioned to the dentist in order to identify the cause and begin treatment, if necessary.

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    • To maintain gum health, regular brushing and flossing are essential.
      By: legaa
      To maintain gum health, regular brushing and flossing are essential.