Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why are my gums so sore?"
I have very healthy teeth and brush and floss all the time. Still, my gums are really sore. They aren't red or puffy though. Is this a dental issue or could another health problem cause my gums to be sore?
Gum problems are common complaints often heard by many dentists. It is important to pay attention to your gums because maintaining a healthy gum is important not only in your dental health, but in your overall well-being. Gum soreness has many causes. Some are of dental origin and some are not. Without examining your teeth, it is not possible to determine the exact cause of your sore gums. Perhaps in the quest to keep your teeth clean, you might have tempted to brush them as vigorously as you can. Improper brushing can actually irritate and damage your gums that are made of delicate tissue, making them sore and more likely to bleed and recede. It is also important that you are gentle with your flossing by carefully sliding the floss up and down along the curve of each tooth. Sore gums can be a medical condition resulting from underlying cause of vitamin deficiencies. If so, it develops slowly and persists or worsens over time. Gum soreness is also a sign and symptom of gingivitis that occurs when bacteria form plaque on the teeth to trigger the inflammation, causing sore and bleeding gums. Symptoms caused by inflammation often have sudden onset. Another dental condition is necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis that occurs when bacteria in the mouth cause infection that the gum tissue between your teeth is destroyed. If left untreated, the infection can even lead to tooth loss in very severe cases. I would recommend an appointment with your dentist to have your sore gums evaluated to determine the exact cause so that you can properly be treated to prevent possible complications.
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