While this is important, healthy teeth are only a part of the equation. Your gums require care as well. In fact, healthy gums help to keep your teeth in excellent condition.
So, when your gums hurt, they should be taken care of.
Types of Gum Pain
Not all gum pain is the same. Depending upon the cause of the pain, it can manifest in different ways. Gum pain can come from:
|•||Cuts. If you eat foods with sharp edges, your gums may get scratched during the chewing process. Dental appliances can also cause cuts or abrasions, as can something as simple as brushing too hard.|
|•||Canker sores. The exact cause of these painful ulcers is unknown, but they are often associated with stress, oral injury or certain underlying medical conditions. Stress or other factors can often cause them to flare up.|
|•||Gum disease. When bacteria infect your gum, they cause inflammation and redness. As it progresses, the bacteria fall below the gum line and lead to infections in your teeth and jawbone.|
Check Your Mouth
One of the first things you can do is to look inside your mouth. Check for any cuts, abrasions or sores. This can help you to determine what the cause might be. If you wear any dental appliances, check where they sit on your gums, and look the appliance over for signs of damage.
Change Your Oral Hygiene Routine
If abrasions are the result of brushing too hard, alter your brushing routine. It may even be helpful to invest in a soft bristled toothbrush. Or, if you don't brush regularly, now is the time to start. Your pain could be the beginning stages of gum disease, and can easily be reversed with regular brushing and flossing.
Salt Water Rinses
Rinsing your mouth out with a salt water solution can help to ease pain and swelling. The salt also draws out any potential infection and allows your gums to heal.
Call Your Dentist
If the pain is persistent, no matter what you do, contact your dentist. He or she will be able to give you a thorough examination to see exactly what is going on, and provide you with the relief you need.
Gum health is an important part of a healthy mouth. Don't ignore pain. Take steps to ease it, and, if it persists, contact our office right away.