Millions of Americans have experienced sore gums. You're brushing or flossing and notice a painful sensation in your gums. Sometimes your sore gums may even start bleeding while you're brushing or flossing. Since the pain from sore gums isn’t usually very severe and is such a common problem, many people don’t pay much attention to sore gums. But sore gums could be an early sign of gum disease. Fortunately, addressing sore gums isn’t usually very difficult, especially if you catch it during the early stages of gum disease.
Brushing too hard, improper flossing techniques, infection, or gum disease can cause sore and sensitive gums. Other causes unrelated to oral hygiene could include a Vitamin K deficiency, hormonal changes during pregnancy, leukemia or blood disorders. If you notice sore or sensitive gums, always consult your dentist or doctor.
Sore gums or gums that are swollen or bleeding are most often linked to gum disease. There are two stages of gum disease, both of which may cause sore gums.
- Gingivitis: This is the early and mildest form of gum disease; sore gums are often one of the first signs that you may be suffering from gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to more serious gum disease.
- Periodontitis: Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease with more serious implications, such as possible tooth loss and other health problems.
Other causes of sore and sensitive gums:
- Diet: A healthy and well-balanced diet can help prevent sore gums and gum disease. A diet that includes plenty of Vitamin C and calcium may minimize your risk for gum problems.
- Tobacco Use: Tobacco use has been associated with gum disease and increases your risk for sore gums.
- Stress: Stress raises the levels of cortisol in your body, which increases the likelihood of inflammation throughout the body. Try to reduce stress if you can.
- Lack of Oral Hygiene: Maintaining a diligent oral hygiene routine is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and help prevent sore gums.
Many Americans (up to 50 percent) have gingivitis, a symptom of which can be sore or sensitive gums. Because that pain and sensitivity are so common, many don’t think twice about how to prevent or treat them.
Since many causes of sensitive gums are tied to oral hygiene, the tips below are the best place to start:
- Brush at least twice a day
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Floss at least once per day
- See your dentist regularly
- Eat a well-balanced diet
Toothpaste for Sensitive Gums
Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Advanced Toothpaste helps prevent gingivitis and helps reverse gingivitis in 4 weeks. Other products such as the Oral-B CrossAction Pro-Health Toothbrush features soft bristles that make brushing more comfortable for sensitive gums. By focusing on prevention, you can help keep your mouth in good health and avoid sensitive gums and other oral health problems.
Anti-gingivitis toothpastes are specifically made to reach and treat the plaque (and the bacteria in it) found on your teeth and around the gum line. These can help you treat sore or bleeding gums, and can help prevent further gum issues.