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3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408

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Greensboro Dental Clinic, Dr. Margaret Szott

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July 25th, 2019

What Can Cause Gum Pain

When we think about dental health, we usually focus on preventing cavities and making sure our teeth look their best. However, it is also essential to pay attention to the gums because they play a significant role in your overall oral health. If you have sore, swollen or bleeding gums, this might be a sign of gum disease, but several other factors could be causing these issues.  

Canker sores
These are small, painful ulcers that occur on the gums, tongue, and cheeks, and can be caused by emotional stress, mouth injuries, an impaired immune system, or other underlying health conditions.

Hormonal changes
Pregnancy or other hormonal fluctuations may cause a person to experience swelling, pain, and bleeding in the gums.  

Cuts or injuries
Food and other objects that enter the mouth can sometimes cause minor cuts or damages to the gums and teeth. For example, chips or foods with sharp edges can sometimes cause small cuts in your mouth that can become painful.

Brushing technique
It is easy to think you are taking the best care of your teeth by vigorously brushing them, but gums are made of soft, tender tissue and brushing aggressively could damage them. When buying your next toothbrush, whether it be manual or electric, choose one with soft nylon bristles that have blunted ends. 

Dr. Szott always reiterates the importance of flossing every day and after meals to help remove plaque and food between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. However, if you are not gentle, your healthy habit could cause your gums to become swollen or bleed.  Rather than being quick and forcing the floss between your teeth, carefully slide it up and down, following the curve of each tooth.

A bacterial or viral infection in the sinuses can cause swelling of the sinus cavity. Some people with sinusitis can also experience gum pain and toothache due to the swelling.

Tooth abscess
A bacterial infection in the root of a tooth can cause a sore or pus-filled sac. Tooth abscesses can lead to gum swelling and pain, and they can also be severe and spread to other parts of the body if not treated quickly. 

Gum Disease
Gingivitis and periodontitis are both forms of gum disease.  They are infections damage the soft tissue and bone supporting the tooth. It starts when plaque, a sticky film-like substance filled with bacteria, builds up under and along the gum line.  Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, but steps can be taken to prevent and even reverse gum disease.

Good oral hygiene and regular check-ups and cleanings can help prevent gum pain and other issues. Treatment depends on the underlying cause, but for gum pain that you cannot explain, please see Dr. Szott  for a check-up. 

Where We Are Located

3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
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