Sore gums are a painful and distracting problem that can affect your everyday life. The first step toward treatment is learning to recognize what causes sore gums.
If you suffer from sore gums, you may find it difficult to chew or talk without uncomfortable levels of pain. If you fail to identify the cause of your sore gums, the underlying problem can continue to escalate and potentially cause additional complications. Thankfully, you can learn about what causes sore gums and prepare for a conversation with a Little Rock dentist who can provide treatment options and advise you on preventative care.
1. Canker Sores
Although canker sores often appear on the inside of the lips or cheeks, they can affect the gum tissue as well. This type of sore feels like a bee sting or mild burn, especially while eating spicy or acidic foods. You can keep pain to a minimum by applying topical anesthetics a few times a day. In most cases, canker sores may develop due to infections, food allergies, and nutrient deficiencies. If the sores continue to develop, consider talking with a dentist to identify the underlying problem.
2. Irritation From Food and Drinks
If you regularly consume acidic foods and drinks, your gums might start to become overly sensitive or even develop sores from time to time. Continuing to eat and drink these items in spite of sore gums can accelerate the recession of your gum line. You may need to remove acidic foods completely from your diet to resolve the sensitivity, keep gum lesions at bay, and eliminate one of the causes of sore gums.
3. Gum Disease
As gum disease develops, your gums will darken, swell, and become increasingly painful. You may notice bleeding along the gum line, especially while eating abrasive foods or flossing your teeth. Fortunately, protective lifestyle changes such as quitting tobacco products, obtaining regular professional dental cleanings, and committing to a strict home oral care routine can help reverse the effects of this dental condition.
4. Hormone Fluctuations
Hormone changes can negatively impact your body’s ability to control the bacteria commonly found on your teeth. As a result, your teeth and gums may suffer from the damaging effects of the acidic waste emitted by bacteria. Your Little Rock dentist can increase the number of professional cleanings you receive throughout the year to combat this problem.
5. Incorrect Oral Care Techniques
Brushing and flossing too hard or too long can be one of the causes of sore gums. You might initially notice redness along the gums in areas where you used improper oral care techniques. A sore may appear soon afterward and remain for several days as the damaged tissues heal. Pressing too hard while brushing may also damage the enamel on your teeth, leaving them susceptible to the development of cavities and stains. To prevent this issue, avoid pressing hard against your gums with a toothbrush or floss, and limit your oral care sessions to about three minutes.
6. Impacted or Abscessed Tooth
An impacted or abscessed tooth can cause shooting or throbbing pain well below the gum line. In the adult years, impactions commonly occur as the wisdom teeth attempt to grow into place. If the tooth is too large or moves through your gums at the wrong angle, it could hit an obstruction, causing it to become impacted. Abscessed teeth, on the other hand, often occur after a cavity reaches the root of the tooth and causes an infection. Both of these dental issues require prompt treatment from a Little Rock dentist to repair the problem and prevent ongoing complications.
If you want to discuss what causes sore gums with a Little Rock dentist, contact Arkansas Family Dental at 501-683-8886 to schedule an appointment.