Gum pain can be an extremely uncomfortable and even agonizing experience. It can range from mild to severe, but regardless of how painful, it’s important to address the issue to maintain good oral health.
The good news is many cases don't require professional medical treatment and can be treated effectively with home remedies.
This guide will give a comprehensive overview of the best ways to manage gum irritation and provide lasting gum pain relief.
Gum Pain: Overview
There are various culprits for gum pain, including harsh brushing techniques and gum disease. The pain typically goes away on its own, but some cases require medical intervention.
Gum-related pain is rather common, particularly among adults. According to the CDC, gum disease or periodontal disease is present among 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older. To help treat it, it's critical to learn the possible causes and know the proven methods to alleviate gum pain.
Possible Causes Of Gum Pain
Improper oral hygiene practices typically cause gum pain, but other issues can lead to it too. Here is an overview of some of the most common causes:
Canker sores are small, shallow lesions that form inside your cheeks and lips or at the base of your gums. They occur when your gums become irritated due to eating acidic foods or brushing too hard. The sore itself is usually white with a red border and can be uncomfortable and painful.
Canker sores typically go away on their own in about a week, but if you're experiencing ongoing gum pain, it might be worth checking out with your dentist to make sure there isn't something else going on.
Cuts Or Abrasions
Cuts and abrasions happen when the gums are cut or scraped, usually from something sharp like a toothpick or hard food. If you floss too aggressively or brush your teeth too vigorously, you can also cause cuts and abrasions in your gums.
Complications From Gum Piercings
A gum piercing is when a person has jewelry placed in the gum tissue around their teeth. Although this type of body modification is becoming increasingly popular, it can lead to bleeding gums, swollen gums, and other problems if not done correctly or cared for properly.
This is because the pierced area may become infected or irritated by bacteria and food particles that get trapped in and around the piercing site.
When someone is allergic to certain foods, their body treats the food as an intruder and releases chemicals like histamine in response. This can lead to inflammation of the gums, causing pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness.
In some cases, it may also lead to blisters or bumps on the gums. Allergic reactions usually occur soon after eating the offending food, but they can also be delayed for several hours or even days afterward.
Chemicals in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco irritate the tissues around your teeth, leading to inflammation and even gum boils.
Smoking also reduces blood flow to your gums, making them more prone to infection and disease. Lastly, the toxins from smoking damage the bone that holds your teeth in place, resulting in tooth loss or loosening of existing teeth.
Gum Disease Or Infection
Gum disease is an infection that can cause aching, swelling, and bleeding. It is caused by poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, allowing plaque to build up around the gum line.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth over time. When it accumulates near the gum line and hardens into tartar, it can cause swelling in the gums. This is known as gingivitis, and it’s an early indicator of gum disease.
If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your mouth, leading to periodontitis or gum disease. Periodontitis causes receding gums, bone loss around teeth, and gum boil.
Gum pain associated with gum disease may range from mild discomfort or tenderness to severe throbbing or aching. It may also be accompanied by bad breath and/or bleeding when brushing your teeth or flossing.
A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones surrounding the nose.
When a person has a sinus infection, it can cause pressure to build up in their face and teeth. This can lead to pain around facial features like cheeks and gums. Additionally, mucus from a sinus infection can drain into areas near your gums, leading to additional discomfort and irritation.
When you consume something too hot, like a cup of tea or soup, the heat from the food damages the delicate tissue inside your mouth in the areas around your gums. This damage causes inflammation that leads to soreness and sensitivity.
Burned gums from teeth whitening can also be a source of gum pain since some of the chemicals used in teeth whitening products can inflame or irritate the gums.
If you are using teeth whitening products, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid over-whitening.
Pain Relief For Gums: Best Methods
Whether or not your gum pain is tolerable, it’s best to start treating it as soon as possible. Depending on the cause, you can use any of these methods as your gum pain remedy at home.
Salt Water Rinse
Salt water rinses can help alleviate gum pain by reducing inflammation and killing bacteria in the mouth. Salt is a natural disinfectant that helps reduce swelling, remove food particles and debris stuck between teeth, and neutralize the acidity of plaque buildup.
When you rinse with salt water, it creates an environment in your mouth that is less friendly to bacteria or other irritants. Salt water has also been known to help reduce pain from sores or cuts on the gums caused by things like flossing too aggressively.
A compress is a type of treatment that involves applying gentle pressure to an area of the body, such as the gums. This can act as throbbing gum pain relief since the pressure helps reduce swelling in the affected area and encourages blood circulation.
Compresses are often applied with a warm or cold cloth, depending on what kind of relief is needed. Cold compresses provide numbing relief, while warm compresses increase blood flow to the affected area and promote healing.
Herbal poultice is a natural swollen gums around tooth pain remedy that involves the application of herbs directly to the affected area.
Examples of these herbs include chamomile, ginger, cinnamon, and clove. The herbs are typically ground down into a paste and then applied topically to the gums.
The active ingredients in herbal poultices can help soothe gum tissue by reducing swelling, providing antiseptic properties, and speeding up healing. Some herbs can also act as an analgesic to relieve toothache or gum pain caused by infection or trauma.
Homemade Dental Spray
A homemade dental spray is another simple and natural way to treat gum pain. It works by using antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil, which helps fight off bacteria that can cause gum irritation and inflammation, and numbing agents like clove oil or peppermint oil, which reduce the discomfort associated with gum pain.
To make your own dental spray, you will need a few drops of one or more of these oils in an ounce of distilled water. Shake it up and spray it directly onto your gums to relieve pain and inflammation.
Tea bags can help alleviate gum pain due to the natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of tea. When placed on the affected area, tea bags provide a cooling sensation that reduces swelling and discomfort.
The tannins in tea are additionally known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties; this means they can help prevent infections from developing in your gums.
To use a teabag as a treatment for gum pain, simply moisten it with warm water (not hot) and place it directly onto the affected area for around 10 minutes. You should repeat this process several times throughout the day if needed until you experience relief from your gum pain.
Oral Anesthetic Gels
Oral anesthetic gels are topical medications that contain ingredients like lidocaine and benzocaine, which reduce pain sensation. When applied directly to the affected area, they numb it and help relieve discomfort from soreness or inflammation.
The gel is left on the affected area for several minutes before being rinsed away with water, allowing you to eat and drink without feeling uncomfortable.
Over-the-counter painkillers can be the answer to tooth and gum pain relief because they block the production of certain chemicals in your body that cause inflammation.
These painkillers inhibit the enzymes that produce these inflammatory agents, thereby reducing swelling and discomfort. This lessens sensitivity and stops the feeling of pain from coming through.
Prevention Tips For Gum Pain
Following the best dental hygiene practices is key to preventing gum pain. If you stay true to these tips, you’ll reduce the chances of causing pain in your gums.
Brushing At Least Twice A Day
Some causes of gum pain happen because of a buildup of plaque and bacteria on our teeth. If we brush twice a day, it helps to remove the plaque and bacteria that can cause gum pain. By brushing at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, we can help prevent gum pain by keeping our teeth clean.
Brushing your teeth is important for maintaining a healthy mouth, but it's not enough. Flossing daily can also help prevent gum pain since it involves removing bits of food and plaque from between your teeth that brushing alone won't reach. Using a gum stimulator in conjunction with flossing is even better.
If your flossing doesn’t successfully remove plaque, your gums may be irritated and inflamed as a result. This leads to redness, swelling, and bleeding when you brush or floss – all signs of gum pain!
Regular and proper flossing helps keep these symptoms at bay by stripping away plaque before it can cause any damage.
Visiting Your Dentist Twice A Year
Scheduling dental check-ups allows your dentist to detect and treat any issues with your gums before they become painful. During regular cleanings, the dentist can remove plaque buildup from around the gum line.
The earlier the problem is identified, the easier it is to treat and therefore reduce or eliminate potential discomfort associated with inflamed gums.
Using Anti-Gingivitis Mouthwash
An anti-gingivitis mouthwash contains ingredients that help reduce gum inflammation. When used regularly, it helps fight plaque and bacteria buildup that can lead to gum problems.
It also helps keep your mouth clean by washing away food particles and other debris from between teeth and along the gum line.
Smoking is a major cause of gum disease and black gums, as well as other serious diseases in the body. As we’ve established, gum disease can cause swollen gums. If you quit smoking, you will help reduce the number of bacteria and toxins present in your mouth, thereby reducing occurrences of gum inflammation and pain.
Gum pain can be quite uncomfortable, but fortunately, there are several ways to treat it and reduce the risk of developing it in the future. The best way to prevent gum pain is by practicing good oral hygiene habits.
If you experience any signs or symptoms of gum disease, contact your dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment options. With these tips in mind, you can keep your gums healthy and free from discomfort this year!
Why Does My Gum Hurt When I Brush?
When you brush your teeth, you remove plaque and other bacteria from the surface of your teeth and gums. However, if you don’t brush gently enough, it can irritate your gums.
Brushing with too much force can also lead to swollen gums or gingivitis. This makes them more sensitive when brushed. Remember to brush properly using short strokes directed towards the gum line to avoid irritating or damaging your gums.
If you’re experiencing soreness or pain when brushing, it could also be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth and lead to infection and inflammation of the gums.
You’ll need to see your dentist if you experience any discomfort while brushing, as they can help diagnose what is causing the pain and provide treatment options.
Why Do My Gums Hurt After Flossing?
Flossing your teeth is an important part of a good oral hygiene routine, but it can sometimes cause discomfort in the gums – especially if you have loose teeth from gum disease. This may be due to inflammation caused by bacteria or infection in the gum tissue, which can happen when plaque and food particles get stuck between your teeth and the gums.
It could also be due to vigorous flossing that causes irritation or trauma to delicate gum tissues. If you experience pain after flossing, try using a wax-coated dental floss that is gentler on the gums.
Just make sure you are not pressing too hard while flossing. If the pain persists, it could be a sign of gum disease, and you should see your dentist for an evaluation.
How To Relieve Gum Pain After Tooth Extraction?
Gum pain after a tooth extraction is common and can be very uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help reduce the discomfort.
The first step is to make sure you are following your dentist's instructions for post-extraction care. This may include gently rinsing with warm salt water a few times daily and avoiding brushing in the wound area.
Additionally, it’s important not to smoke or drink through a straw as this could interfere with healing and cause dry socket (a painful condition resulting from an exposed socket).
You should also try applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area for 10 minutes at a time, several times a day. This can help reduce inflammation and provide some pain relief.
Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be helpful in relieving discomfort as well.
Finally, make sure to keep up with your regular dental appointments so that your dentist can check on your healing progress and ensure there are no complications to worry about. With the right care, your gum pain should lessen over time.
How Do I Know If My Gum Pain Is Serious?
Gum pain can be caused by various issues, ranging from mild to serious. Generally speaking, if the gum pain is not accompanied by any other symptoms or does not last for an extended period of time (more than a few days), it is likely nothing serious and will resolve on its own.
However, if your gum pain is persistent and accompanied by other symptoms like swelling, redness in the gums or around the teeth, bleeding when brushing or flossing teeth, bad breath that won’t go away with good oral hygiene practices, or loose teeth, then this could indicate a more serious problem.
In these cases, it is best to consult your dentist or doctor for an assessment.
Does Gum Pain Go Away?
Yes, gum pain usually goes away on its own. Depending on the cause of your gum pain, it can resolve within a few days to a week or two. If you are experiencing persistent or severe gum pain that lasts longer than it should, it is important to see your dentist or doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
How Long Should Gum Pain Last?
Gum pain is typically caused by irritation or inflammation and should not last more than a few days. If the pain persists for more than a week, it may be a sign of an underlying dental issue that needs to be addressed by your dentist.
Is Gum Pain An Infection?
No, gum pain is not an infection. May people ask, “why is there a white spot on my gums?” and worry that it is some sort of infection – but it is usually a sign of irritation or inflammation caused by poor oral hygiene, certain medications, or eating foods that are too hot or acidic. However, gum pain can be a symptom of an underlying infection, so it is important to visit your dentist to have it checked out.
How Can I Heal My Gums Fast?
To heal your gums quickly, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash.
Moreover, make sure you visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups. If needed, they may recommend additional treatments, such as periodontal scaling or laser gum therapy, that can help reduce inflammation and irritation in the gums.
Can Stress Cause Gum Pain?
Yes, stress can cause gum pain. When you are stressed, it causes your body to produce hormones that can make your gums more sensitive and prone to irritation. This can lead to gingivitis or inflammation of the gums, resulting in soreness and discomfort.
Additionally, when you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, it may be harder for you to take care of your oral hygiene properly, leading to an increased risk of gum infections or other conditions that may cause pain.
How Do I Know If I Have An Infection In My Gums?
If you think you may have an infection in your gums, look out for symptoms like redness and swelling of the gums, pain when chewing or brushing your teeth, bad breath that won't go away, receding gums, and pus coming from between the teeth and gums.
If any of these symptoms are present, it’s important to visit a dentist immediately, as gum infections can lead to more serious health issues if left untreated.
Which Medicine Is Good For Gum Pain?
Gum pain is usually caused by inflammation or infection of the gums, both of which can be treated with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If your gum pain persists for more than a few days, it may be necessary to see a dentist for an evaluation and possible prescription medication. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat any underlying infection that could be causing the discomfort.