Sensitive Gums - Causes and Treatment

Sensitive Gums - Causes and Treatment

Posted by DENTAL HEALTH PC on Jan 17 2021, 08:41 PM

Do you experience soreness when you brush or floss teeth? You might be suffering from sensitive gums; they have the ability to make even your daily dental care activities like brushing and flossing a painful experience.

Gum sensitivity can be mild or severe. However, they can be a sign of a serious problem. Therefore, it is essential to understand why sensitivity occurs and the symptoms and treatments for soreness.

Symptoms of sensitive gums

Experiencing soreness while you brush or floss your teeth can be a sign of sensitive gum. The pain may gradually decrease or linger. Sometimes, swelling, redness, and bleeding of gums, along with bad breath, can accompany sensitive gums. 

Tooth sensitivity and gum sensitivity are not the same, though it is difficult to differentiate between the two. If you have tooth sensitivity, you may also have pain when eating and drinking cold or hot items. The underlying causes of tooth sensitivity can be a cavity, a loose filling, or a worn-down dental enamel.

Sensitive gums- Causes

Brushing and flossing too hard can cause gum sensitivity. This often begins as soreness during or after caring for your teeth. Gum sensitivity can also occur due to dentures or braces. However, this type of soreness may be temporary; they are likely to heal once your mouth adjusts to the dental application.

Sensitive gums are also caused by some underlying issues or conditions, including those not related to oral hygiene. They include:

  • Gum disease

Gum disease is accompanied by inflammation in the gums and can be caused by poor dental hygiene. It is formed as a result of the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis; its symptoms include painful and swollen gums that may bleed easily. If left untreated, this can advance to periodontitis. In severe cases, it could result in tooth loss if the gums separate from the teeth.

  • Vitamin C deficiency (scurvy)

Scurvy occurs when you don’t get enough vitamin C from your diet or when your body has difficulty absorbing the vitamin. Vitamin C deficiency symptoms include sore, swollen, bleeding gums, irritability, fatigue, joint pain, and skin bruising.

  • Smoking

Smoking tobacco can damage your gums and lead to gum disease, triggering gum sensitivity.

  • Diabetes

Too much glucose (sugar) in your saliva causes the growth of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. If plaque isn’t removed, it can lead to gum disease.

  • Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes that can occur during pregnancy, puberty, menstruation, and menopause can cause increased blood flow to the gums, making them more tender and sensitive.

  • Oral infections

Canker sores, mouth ulcers, and oral infections can also irritate your gums, causing soreness. 

  • Stress

Too much stress can lead to an elevated cortisol level - a stress hormone and can cause inflammation in different parts of the body, including your gums.

Sensitive gums - treatment

Treatment for gum sensitivity depends on the underlying cause. Following the below mentioned practices can help improve the condition:

  • Improve your dental hygiene.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash that helps kill bacteria in your mouth and soothes irritated gums.
  • Get enough vitamin C
  • Drink more water.
  • Quit smoking
  • Practice stress management.
  • Use medications prescribed by your dentist.

Soreness or sensitivity in gums is treatable and reversible, but you must identify the problem and see a dentist if needed. Follow oral hygiene practices and improve your oral health and consult your dentist before the pain worsens.

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