When we think of oral health, we tend to concentrate on our teeth, but our gums are just as important – after all, they help hold your teeth in place.
And if you experience gum pain when you eat, talk, or even at rest, it is possible you have a serious problem.
Many Australians experience issues with their gums at some point, and pain can normally be reduced or eliminated with simple adjustments to your dental routine.
However, sore gums can sometimes be a sign of an underlying problem like gum disease.
Let’s discuss the causes of sore gums, what you can do about them, and when to make an appointment with your dentist.
Causes of Gum Pain
Gingivitis – Quite a few dental problems at least begin with gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, caused by plaque buildup around your teeth, causing an infection in your gums.
Painful, red, tender, and swollen gums, or gums that bleed easily, are all symptoms of gingivitis.
Other causes – Gum pain can be caused by something as simple as canker sores, dentures, braces, or retainers.
For women, gum pain can be caused by hormonal changes related to pregnancy, menopause, or menstruation.
It can also be caused by well-intentioned oral hygiene efforts – overbrushing, a too-hard toothbrush, or too violent flossing.
Temporary (at-home) solutions
Saltwater rinse. Warm a cup of water to just above lukewarm and then pour it into a cool glass. Add 1 tsp of salt, mix well, and check the temperature with your finger.
Be sure the water is not too hot. Swish the saltwater rinse around in your mouth, and then spit it out (don’t swallow it).
Salt prevents bacteria growth and reduces gum bacteria that might cause swelling. Rinse at least twice daily until the swelling is reduced.
Compresses. Cold or hot compresses can temporarily treat pain. To make a hot compress, heat water to a skin-safe temperature (again, test with a finger before putting a hot compress anywhere near your skin).
Soak a clean cloth in the water, wring out the excess and gently apply the damp, warm cloth near the area with gum pain.
Normally you will do this from outside the mouth – never apply the compress directly to gums.
To make a cold compress, wrap ice in a clean clothe and apply in the same way as above. Never apply ice directly to any tissue, as frostbite may ensue.
Use either temperature of compress until the pain recedes. Some people alternate between cold and hot compresses until the inflammation is reduced
Tea bags. Steep a tea bag in boiling water, just as you would if making tea to drink. After 2-3 minutes, removed the tea bag and let it cool.
When the tea bag has cooled, place it between your cheek and painful gums for five minutes.
Use a tea with high levels of the astringent tannins; Green tea, black tea, etc. Or use a tea containing natural anti-inflammatories like chamomile or ginger.
Oral anaesthetics. Medicated gels are available over the counter. These gels contain synthetic and natural ingredients that numb gum pain. Follow the instructions and warnings on the packaging.
Over-the-counter painkillers. Common NSAIDs and painkillers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin, can temporarily treat pain.
You can use OTC painkillers alone or a supplement to the topical home treatments mentioned above. For dosage amounts, follow directions on the bottle labels.
What Prevent Dental Suite can do
In all cases of gum pain, it is advisable to see a dentist to be certain it is not a symptom of something more serious.
At Prevent Dental Suite, we offer the following treatments:
- Drainage or tissue removal: We may need to drain an infection with a needle or remove infected tissue from the area.
- Tooth removal: In extreme cases, infected teeth need to be removed.
- Scaling and cleaning can remove deposits below the gumline that cause pain.
Finally, one way to avoid gum pain or catch its causes early is to have regular dental visits to Prevent Dental Suite.
Regular visits are important for the prevention of gingivitis, plaque buildup, and dental infections.
If we discover some other cause of your gum pain, we will recommend treatments to address the underlying issues and remove the pain!
High-quality Dental Care at Prevent Dental Suite
Prevent Dental Suite is a group of dedicated dental professionals who provide gentle and patient-oriented care.
We offer the best-quality dental service from the moment patients enter our office. Dr The resident dentist at our Kallangur clinic, Shilpa Gupta, and combines many years’ experience with friendly service.
To learn a bit more about our fantastic team, go to our team page.
Parking is easy and free. Parking is located at the rear of the building – access via Storey Road.
Kallangur dentist is also serving local communities in Warner, Murrumba Downs, North Lakes, Petrie, Strathpine, Lillybrook, Griffin, Mango Hill, Lawnton, Deception Bay, Narangba, North Brisbane and Brisbane.
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Call us on (07) 3886 2428 or visit us at 9/1376 Anzac Ave in Kallangur.