Gum Pain: Why It Happens And How To Fix It
Biting into something and having your gums hurt can be frustrating. So can brushing your teeth and finding that it causes gum pain. Sometimes people ignore their gum pain hoping that it will go away on its own, but it rarely does. Gum pain can be more serious than you'd think, so you'd be wise to learn what causes it and then take some steps towards treatment.
What causes gum pain?
Gum pain is almost always caused by gum disease. Gum disease is essentially an infection of your gums. You have oral bacteria in your mouth all the time, but if they become too plentiful, they start damaging your gum tissue.
Early-stage gum disease is known as gingivitis. At this stage, your gums are a little puffy and red. They may be mildly to moderately sore, and they may bleed a little if you brush or floss.
Later-stage gum disease is known as periodontal disease. At this stage, the soreness becomes worse. You start to get pockets between your teeth and gums, and if you don't seek treatment in a timely manner, your teeth can start to become loose as the infection moves into your periodontal ligaments. (These ligaments secure your teeth in place.)
What should you do about painful gums?
If you think you're in the early stages of gingivitis, you can try being more vigilant about your brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use. In some cases, this will clear up the infection and ease your pain. However, if you don't see results within about a week, you should see a dentist.
A general dentist can do a few different things for gum disease. They may prescribe a stronger, antibacterial mouthwash or even oral antibiotics to help clear the infection. They also often perform a procedure called root scaling. This procedure involves using special tools to clean between the teeth and gums.
In the most serious cases, you may need gum grafts. These involve grafting new gum tissue to your gums in order to replace the tissue that has eroded over time.
Whatever treatment your dentist uses, make sure you follow up with a good oral hygiene routine. This will help keep the gum disease and resulting gum pain from coming back.
Gum pain is really annoying, and it's not something to just push past and ignore. Make sure you see a dentist if a few days of good brushing and oral hygiene don't fix things for you.
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