Managing Gum Pain
How do you treat gum pain? Typically, if you feel pain in an area of your body such as your knee, head or stomach, you can rest it until it feels better. Since you have to eat, drink and talk every day, however, you can’t really “rest” your gums. This is what makes gum pain so irritating and often very painful, day in and day out.
Types of Gum Pain
Gum pain, like most body pains, can manifest in different ways. Some people experience gum pain in a single area of the gums, while others suffer from gum pain throughout their mouths.
If you don’t take good care of your gums, they can deteriorate, become inflamed, infected, cut or even suffer from disease. Below are several different sources of gum pain. When you seek treatment for gum pain, it helps to be familiar with these types of gum pain so that your dental or medical professional can help to diagnose the cause of your discomfort.
- Canker Sores: These painful ulcers found in your mouth can cause serious gum pain. Canker sores can be caused by stress or injury to the tissue in your mouth, or an underlying health condition such as an impaired immune system, nutritional deficiencies or gastrointestinal disease. (1)
- Cuts or Abrasions: Gum pain can often be caused by a simple cut or abrasion. Braces or other dental hardware such as dentures or retainers can irritate the tissue and cause gum pain.
- Gum Disease or Infection: Gum pain associated with sensitive or bleeding gums is often caused by gum disease. The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, affects approximately one in two American adults (2) and can cause chronic gum pain and sensitivity. If not treated properly, gingivitis can progress to more serious gum infection.
Regardless of where your gum pain is located or its cause, chances are you’ll want to address it quickly.
Gum Pain and Gum Disease
Given the fact that 50 percent of Americans have early gum disease, this is one of the most common causes of gum pain. To determine whether or not you have gum disease, ask yourself if you have the following symptoms:
- Do your gums hurt or bleed when brushing or flossing?
- Are your gums receding or pulling away from your teeth?
- Do you have chronic bad breath?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have gum disease. It’s best to consult with your dentist to find out for sure.
Treating Gum Pain from Gum Disease
With early gum disease, the best way to treat the pain is to reverse the disease. This is achieved by taking good care of your teeth and gums through a diligent oral hygiene routine. Here are some tips for reversing gum disease that will help reduce gum pain over time:
- Brush at least twice a day.
- Switch to an electric toothbrush for better gum stimulation.
- Floss daily.
- Visit your dentist twice a year.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash every day.