Even if we pay more attention to the health of our teeth, gum pain should not be overlooked.
Often disabling, it can, however, in most cases, be avoided thanks to serious oral hygiene. Sore gums can have many causes, including inflammatory and infectious.
Causes, consequences, solutions… Here is everything you need to know about painful gums.
How to recognize gum pain?
The anatomy of the periodontium
The gums are part of the oral mucosa and help hold the teeth firmly in place. They are an element of the periodontium which includes:
- the gingiva or supporting tissue of the teeth;
- the alveolar bone;
- supporting fibers (the periodontium).
Characteristics of gingival inflammation
When the tooth is clean, the surrounding gum tissue is pinkish in color. But if the tooth is not properly cleaned, plaque accumulates on its surface and the gums can become painful.
While brushing the teeth, they may be sensitive and cause mild pain. But the pain may persist, be more or less strong, and be more or less disabling (it may be, for example, that they prevent proper nutrition).
What are the symptoms associated with gum pain?
Gum pain may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- red, reddish, swollen, or shiny gums;
- persistent bad breath;
- bleeding during toothbrushing or persistent;
- numbness or tingling;
- dental pain.
What are the causes of gum pain?
Gingivitis: inflammation of the gums
In most cases, gum pain is caused by inflammation of the gums, this is called gingivitis :
- plaque (invisible film loaded with bacteria that is deposited daily on the teeth) accumulates;
- it hardens (if not removed by toothbrushing) and becomes tartar;
- small infections are created;
- this can lead to inflammation of all the supporting tissues, this is called periodontitis.
A gum infection
The origin of the infection can be linked to the presence of:
- a bacterium;
- a virus (herpes);
- of a mycosis.
Other causes of pain
- incorrect positioning of an orthodontic appliance or a dental prosthesis;
- the presence of a mouth ulcer or an abscess;
- insufficient oral care;
- hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause, contraception).
Sore gums: what are the consequences?
If left untreated, gum pain can become a recurrent pain, lead to abscesses, or even cause tooth loss.
The abscess can damage surrounding tissue. Gum pain can also prevent good nutrition. Finally, pain can lead to dental hypersensitivity.
How to treat and prevent painful gums?
Prevent oral disorders
Gum pain can be prevented by taking care of your oral hygiene. Thus, it is advisable to:
- brush your teeth and tongue twice a day (at least 20 to 30 minutes after eating);
- use fluoridated toothpaste;
- limit the consumption of sugary foods or drinks;
- favor a balanced diet;
- or do not smoke or chew tobacco.
Also, it is essential to consult a dentist regularly. It is even more so if the gums change color, start to bleed, shine or swell, or if a taste of metal appears in the mouth.
Relieve sore gums
To relieve gum pain and see it disappear, you have to treat what is causing it. For example:
- antibiotic or antiseptic treatment, scaling, and monitoring of strict oral hygiene, in the event of gingivitis;
- mouthwashes, in case of mouth ulcers;
- or the repositioning of the ill-fitting prosthesis or braces.
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