Why Do My Gums Hurt When I Brush My Teeth?

Why Do My Gums Hurt When I Brush My Teeth

For most people, brushing their teeth makes their mouths feel fresh and healthy. However, if you have sore and sensitive gums, then brushing your teeth may feel like a nightmare. If you’re experiencing sensitive gums in Philadelphia, let’s look at why your gums may hurt when brushing your teeth and how Dr. Eidelson can help.

What Causes Sore Gums?

If you have a typically healthy mouth, but your gums hurt or bleed when you brush, then you likely have an undiagnosed periodontal infection. Therefore, the treatment for swollen and sore gums is often the treatment of gum disease. However, sometimes it’s as simple as backing off on the pressure of when you brush or learning how to gently floss. If you’re applying too much pressure then your gums could react by receeding, becoming inflamed or bleeding.

Periodontal disease, often referred to as gum disease, is more common than you think. Your gum irritation can occur in varying levels of severity, from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis.

Some typical symptoms of periodontal infections include:

  • Red, puffy gums: Healthy gums are typically a light pink color. But when they’re infected and swollen, they tend to be bright red.
  • Bad breath: Halitosis is a common side effect of periodontal infection as bacteria accumulate underneath the gums, causing tissue necrosis.
  • Tooth sensitivity: This infection can cause your gums to recede, exposing tooth roots and making them sensitive whenever you’re drinking or eating.
  • Bleeding: Seeing pink in the sink or noticing bleeding gums when you floss is a significant warning sign of gum disease.
  • Loose teeth: Infected gums gradually detach from your tooth, triggering bone loss. This scenario allows your teeth to wiggle when touched or even shift positions in your mouth.

Preventing Periodontal Disease

For many people though, gum disease starts because of improper oral hygiene habits. Even if you think you’re doing everything right, read over these tips to ensure your gums stay in good shape.

First, you want to make sure you use the right type of toothbrush. Using an old or ineffective toothbrush can irritate your gums, which causes gum recession and can leave them vulnerable to infection.

We recommend using a soft toothbrush that will be gentle on your gums. Also, make sure to replace it every three to four months or whenever the bristles start to fray.

Likewise, flossing should be a part of your routine. You may notice bleeding gums the first few times you floss, but this will eventually stop as you floss more often. Make sure to floss gently and slowly so you don’t accidentally irritate your gums. Instead of pushing the floss up and down, imagine that you’re wrapping and rubbing the floss against the curved sides of your teeth. This will help keep the pressure on your teeth and not on your gums.

Schedule an Oral Exam for Sore Gums with Main Street Dental Center City

Whether you think you have periodontal disease or just need some advice on your brushing technique, our Philadelphia dental office is here to help. Don’t attempt to self-diagnose the source of your gum pain. Instead, schedule an appointment with our dentist to determine why your gums hurt and come up with a treatment plan to make your mouth feel as good as new!

Philly dentist Dr. Richard Eidelson is a graduate and former clinical professor of Temple University School of Dentistry. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry – only 3% of dentists have achieved fellowship status. He has dedicated his life to helping patients achieve great oral health.