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Common Causes of Gum Pain

Most people experience gum pain or sore gums at least once in their life — but, just because this experience is common doesn’t mean it should go untreated. In this blog, we’ll discuss some common causes of gum pain and how to remedy it. The 4 most popular reasons for sore gums are:

  • Rough brushing and flossing

  • Mouth ulcers

  • Gum disease or infection

  • Braces

Rough Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing are key parts of a good dental hygiene routine. However, being overly rough or aggressive with your cleaning can actually cause damage to your gums. If you’re using too much force or a brush with hard bristles, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in gentle, circular motions. This method will clean your teeth just as well, without causing any gum pain.

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are non-contagious sores, typically caused by viral or bacterial infection, that can appear in your mouth or gums. These bumps can vary in size and can be difficult to pinpoint if they’re small or are in an area of the mouth that’s difficult to see. Mouth ulcers usually heal within 2 weeks, and be treated with over-the-counter medications.

Gum Disease or Infection

If your gums are in pain and bleeding, your discomfort may be caused by gum disease or an infection. Gum infections can range in severity, and will progress if not treated properly. Gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease, affects around 1 in 2 American adults and can be remedied by removing excess plaque. However, severe infections can require more invasive treatment. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should consult your dentist immediately:

  • Bright red or dark purple gums
  • Receding gums
  • Excessive swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Tooth loss
  • Painful chewing


If you are currently undergoing braces treatment, you may experience occasional mild soreness around the gum line due to the movement of teeth. Or, you may feel some soreness after an adjustment. A few ways to help relieve gum pain caused by braces are: 

  • Use braces wax until your mouth gets used to your braces being there
  • Use a numbing gel and reapply every few hours
  • Eat soft foods

Click here to learn more “life hacks” for braces!

How to Treat Gum Pain

The treatment course your dentist chooses to relieve your sore gums will depend on the cause of your pain and the degree of severity. Someone with mild gingivitis may just need a professional cleaning to remove plaque from their gum line, while someone with severe gum disease may need surgery to repair gum loss and encourage the growth of new tissue.

If the soreness you’re experiencing is mild and you don’t show any symptoms of gum disease, one of these home remedies may be able to ease your discomfort:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide
  • Apply a cold compress
  • Use over-the-counter painkillers as the label directs

Let Parris Orthodontics Fix Your Smile

At Parris Orthodontics, we treat each patient the way we would want to be treated - with great care, kindness, and respect. Whether you are thinking of getting braces for your child or are wanting to correct your own smile, we can help you achieve the results you’ve been looking for. Contact us today and schedule your evaluation!

Posted by Dee Geis at 13:22
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