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Can Flossing Cause a Toothache?

It’s very common for our patients at Camarillo Smiles to ask our dentists if flossing can cause a toothache. Flossing shouldn’t cause tooth pain. If you feel pain, you should not ignore it.

There are several reasons you may experience a toothache after flossing. But it’s vital that you continue flossing even if your tooth aches when you floss. Failure to continue flossing could make your oral problems worse.

What are the possible causes of a toothache after or during flossing?

Incorrect flossing technique

There’s a proper flossing technique that you must follow to avoid pain during or after flossing. If you’re still new to flossing, you may irritate your gums as you floss. Never prod your gums with the dental floss and don’t use too much pressure or force the floss in between your teeth. If you’re not careful with flossing, you could cause damage to your gum and feel pain each time you floss or brush your teeth.

Switching to a waterpik may be recommended. It’s a dental device that can eliminate food debris and prevent food debris buildup between your teeth. Unlike dental floss, a waterpik uses streams of water that won’t cause an injury or damage to your gums.

Gum disease

Gum disease can cause your tooth pain while flossing. Gum disease is typically caused by a plaque buildup below your gum line. If this is the reason of your toothache while flossing, you should continue flossing. The pain is caused by the removal of the plaque from areas of your teeth and gums that haven’t been exposed before. Although it’s highly recommended that you continue to floss, you should take care not to cause further damage to your gums.

If you’re unsure of how to floss properly, talk to your dentist. Your dental health professional will teach you the proper way of deep cleaning your mouth to remove plaque buildup completely without causing damage to your gums or feeling pain while flossing.

But can flossing alleviate a toothache?

If you're experiencing tooth pain, flossing may help relieve the pain but it will not cure it. A toothache is usually the result of food debris stuck in your tooth. If you don’t remove it, it will cause pain or worsen your gingivitis.

If your toothache recurs even after brushing and flossing, it might be an early sign of tooth decay. You should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible, particuarly if the pain is accompanied by a fever or trouble breathing.

Rinsing your mouth with a salt-water solution may also help in alleviating the pain you experience while flossing. Swish around a teaspoon of salt and an ounce of warm water in your mouth to reduce pressure on your tooth’s nerve endings.

If a toothache persists after flossing, you should schedule an appointment with one of our toothache experts at Camarillo Smiles.