Pain in the gums is one of the most common patient complaints that we hear in our office. While any change in your gums is a serious symptom, it is especially important to let your Camarillo Smiles dentist know if you experience any pain in your gums, even if it’s only on one side. You wouldn’t let a chronic pain in your right or left hand go on indefinitely; why would you ignore the same pain in your gums?
In some cases, pain that is localized to one side of your gums may be caused by inflammation. This is often caused by using improper brushing and flossing techniques. It is important to ensure that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush that has been approved by the American Dental Association, and that you’re brushing twice per day. It is also essential that you use a circular, massaging motion on the teeth and gums rather than a harsh, back-and-forth motion with lots of pressure. You may also want to use a warm saltwater rinse twice per day until the inflammation subsides.
If none of the above measures helps to alleviate your pain, you need to schedule an appointment to have your gums checked by us. Your gums may have suffered an injury, or may have developed a canker sore. Canker sores may form when your gum tissue has been injured, but may also be caused by the consumption of highly acidic fruits such as lemons and oranges. They may also be caused by conditions such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.
Symptoms of canker sores include:
· A burning or tingling in the gums
· Painful white or gray sores that are round with red edges
- Difficulty eating or drinking
· Feeling tired or sluggish
· Swollen lymph nodes
Another common cause of pain in the gums is gum disease. Though the pain from gum disease usually occurs throughout the mouth, it should not be discounted as a possible cause unless ruled out by a dentist. Gum disease occurs in two stages: gingivitis, the more mild form and periodontitis, the more serious and severe type.
The treatment for gingivitis will vary based on what stage of gum disease you have. It can range from a simple deep cleaning to gum surgery. As plaque and tartar build up on your teeth and below the gum line, these areas can become infected. As your immune system attacks the harmful bacteria, it also breaks down the gums, connective tissue, and bone holding your teeth in place. Contact your dentist right away if you have any of these symptoms:
· Bad breath (halitosis) that is unrelated to diet and doesn’t fade with brushing
· Red or swollen gums
· Gums that bleed easily or are very tender
· Pain when you eat or drink
· Increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or pressure
· Receding gum tissue
If your gum pain does not get better after any of the home treatment methods that we have listed at the beginning of this article, it’s important that you call our office right away for diagnosis and treatment. Pain in the gums can indicate a serious dental issue that should be treated as soon as possible.