People tend to worry more about the health of their teeth than the health of their gums, at least until they start to experience soreness. Sore gums can present a dull, throbbing pain that makes it unpleasant to use your mouth. If you’re starting to notice feelings of discomfort in your gums, it might just be due to one of these common causes.
Too many people assume that brushing their teeth as hard as possible results in a superior clean, but this just isn’t so. You don’t need much pressure to rid the surfaces of your teeth of plaque and bacteria, and going too hard can erode tooth enamel and irritate the gums. If your gums feel a little sore after brushing, consider switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and putting a little less pressure on it. You could also switch to a toothpaste made specifically for people with sensitive mouths.
Flossing helps remove plaque and food debris from interdental areas and along the gum line, so it’s vital for gum health. However, flossing improperly can irritate your gums. If you snap the floss against them or saw back and forth too hard when you’re cleaning around the gum line, sore gums could result. You might want to try interdental cleaners or a water flosser instead.
Early stage gum disease is known as gingivitis, and sore gums are often one of the earliest signs you’re suffering from it. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which puts you at risk of tooth loss and other serious health problems. Sore gums that tend to bleed under slight pressure should be considered a serious warning sign.
People are often surprised to learn that hormonal changes can affect the mouth. For example, pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and even menstruation can draw more blood to the gums and increase the chance of soreness. Taking oral birth control pills can have a similar effect.