Bellingham Dentist

Painful Gums: Causes and Cures

Understanding Painful Gums

Have you ever experienced gum pain? Do you know what is causing the pain in your gums?

Gum pain can be a sign of irritation, infection, or injury to the gums and teeth. It may be a transient symptom but It should be diagnosed to prevent further health complications.

What can cause painful gums?

Firstly, it may be due to brushing or flossing too hard or too frequently that can sometimes cause the gums to bleed and be painful. Or pain might be due to gum disease. Gingivitis causes gums to become tender, to swell or even bleed. If left unattended, it can develop into periodontitis, a more serious form where you can lose teeth. Then your gums may have cuts or injuries caused by sharp or hard foods or objects you put in your mouth. You may also accidentally bite down on the gums, which can sometimes cause pain and bleeding.

A very common cause of gum pain is tooth abscess. It’s the presence of pus or a pus-filled sac in the root of a tooth that can spread to neighboring tooth structures. It can cause gum swelling and pain. One must see a dentist right away as the abscess can also infect other body parts. Another infection that can cause gum pain is sinusitis. A bacterial or viral infection in the sinuses can cause swelling of the sinus cavity.

Women who are pregnant or undergoing menopause are experiencing hormonal fluctuations that cause tender, swelling gums. The gums can be painful and can bleed sometimes. Another manifestation of painful gums are the presence of small, painful ulcers called canker sores. They are multicausal, such as emotional stress, mouth injuries, an impaired immune system, or other underlying health conditions.

What is the treatment for painful gums?

The treatment for gum pain depends on what’s causing it. If it’s gingivitis, a professional cleaning is recommended and some careful homecare. If it’s its more serious form (periodontitis), surgery to repair bone or gum loss may be necessary. Antibiotics can be prescribed in cases of sinusitis, while its root canal therapy in tooth abscesses.

If it’s food that irritates or scratches the gums, then avoid foods that are acidic (like citrus fruits and tomatoes), spicy foods (containing chilis or hot peppers), sharp or scratchy foods (chips, nuts, or pretzels). For canker sores, take vitamin and mineral supplements, like iron and vitamin B-12.


Looking After Gum Health in Bellingham

If you experience painful gums, if they persist and no home remedy seem to alleviate the symptoms, see us at Dr. Tetrick’s for a consultation, only here in Bellingham.