If you experience painful gums when you eat, drink, brush, or floss, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can treat it. Painful or bleeding gums can be caused by improper brushing or flossing techniques, gum disease, chemotherapy, tobacco use, or certain hormonal changes. It is very common for gum disease to lead to pain and bleeding, so resolving the problem is an important part of keeping your gums healthy. Your gums provide the overall support for your teeth and the basis of a healthy mouth, and if not properly cared for, early gum disease can progress to other serious oral health problems.
Below are several different causes of gum pain. Being familiar with these causes of gum pain can help you talk to your dental or medical professional when they’re diagnosing the cause of your discomfort.
- Canker Sores: These are painful ulcers found in your mouth that 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.
- 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 or gum infection. The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, affects approximately one in two American adults and can cause chronic gum pain and sensitivity. If not treated properly by removing plaque from the teeth and around the gum line, gingivitis can progress to more serious gum infection.
- Sinus Infection: A sinus infection, otherwise known as sinusitis, occurs when the tissue lining of your sinuses is swollen or inflamed, and can lead to sinus gum pain. Sinuses are normally filled with air, but when they become filled with fluid, germs can grow and lead to infection. Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year, so sinus gum pain and dental pain are very common.
If you notice any of these symptoms along with gum pain, you may want to consult with a medical professional to confirm the diagnosis and get treatment recommendations. Regardless of where your gum pain is located or its cause, chances are you’ll want to address it quickly.
Gum pain 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.
While there are many causes for tooth and gum pain, the treatment for most causes is pretty standard. Implementing an effective oral hygiene routine will most often help improve the health of your gums. A few gum pain remedies include:
Other ways to reduce gum pain may include avoiding the use of tobacco, improving your nutrition, or reducing stress in your life. These important steps combined with an effective oral hygiene regimen can help bring your gums back to good health.