Do you experience pain or soreness in your gums when you brush and floss? Millions of Americans experience sore gums, and brushing and flossing can sometimes make the pain more noticeable. Your gums may even bleed when you clean your teeth, but people tend to ignore these signs and chalk it up to brushing too hard.
Yes, brushing and flossing too hard can make your gums sore, but sensitivity and bleeding can also point to other oral health conditions, such as gum disease or infection. At the dental practice of Dr. Jeffrey J. Tibbs, we can pinpoint why your gums are sore and treat your smile based on your unique needs. The sooner we catch the problem, the sooner you can enjoy a healthy, pain-free smile again!
Common Causes of Sore Gums
Your gums can be sore for various reasons, such as:
- Gum disease
- Brushing or flossing too hard
- Certain medical conditions (autoimmune deficiencies, blood disorders)
- Tobacco use
- Poor oral hygiene
If you notice your gums are sore or tender, it’s always best to consult your dentist or doctor to understand why it’s happening and how to treat it.
Types of Gum Disease
Sore, swollen, and bleeding gums are commonly linked to gum disease. The two stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis is the earliest and mildest form of gum disease, which can be reversed and controlled with the help of your dentist and excellent oral hygiene. Sore gums are among the first signs of gingivitis, so it’s best to visit your dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis.
- Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss, heart disease, and other health issues. Though periodontitis is not reversible, you can control it with your dentist’s assistance, regular dental visits, and consistent and thorough oral hygiene.
How to Treat Gum Disease
Gum disease is a dental health condition that requires special attention, especially when it comes to oral hygiene and habits. Here are some of the ways you can prevent or control gum inflammation and disease:
- Brush at least twice each day. You can use an ADA-approved gum and sensitivity toothpaste, but make sure your dentist gives you the okay to use it.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing too vigorously or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage the enamel on your teeth and irritate your gums.
- Floss at least once each day, preferably before you brush your teeth. If you’re unsure how to floss correctly, ask your dentist to demonstrate it for you during your appointment.
- Visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and exams. Your dentist can also clean below the gumline, if needed, to help prevent or control plaque from forming.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to make sure you’re getting all of the vitamins and nutrients you need for a strong and healthy smile.
Call Your Dentist in Winston-Salem, NC!
To make sure your gum health is top-notch, schedule your appointment with Dr. Tibbs today. Our friendly team looks forward to welcoming you to our dental office!