Guest Blog: Painful Gums - Possible Causes of Gum Pain

Sunday 28 July 2019


Gum pain can occur at any age and for a variety of reasons. Infants can experience irritated gums when a tooth erupts, teenagers when they wear braces, adults due to dental restorations, hormonal changes, gingivitis, periodontics, and dentures. Thrush and canker sores affect all age groups, and everyone may brush too hard, use the incorrect brushing technique or even the wrong brush.

Your hygienist and dentist can address any issues you are experiencing with your gums. Booking regular dental appointments and teeth cleanings will ensure your mouth is as healthy and pain-free as possible because any dental issues can be detected early.

1. Gum Disease

Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss, and it is entirely preventable. An effective at-home oral regimen of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can remove plaque and inhibit gum disease.

Mild gum disease is called gingivitis and is easily recognisable by bleeding gums when you brush. Your gums may also be inflamed and sensitive. A professional cleaning by your hygienist will help to remove any built-up plaque, and your dentist may also prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash to eradicate harmful bacteria and help reverse the gingivitis.

The longer you allow the plaque and tartar to build-up on the surfaces of your teeth, and along your gumline, the more severe your gum disease can become. Periodontitis causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that hold harmful bacteria and cause a painful infection. Without treatment, this disease can cause decay to the soft tissues that hold the teeth in place and can eventually even destroy the bone. You may also experience tooth loss.

Periodontitis is treatable, but some of the procedures can be invasive and may not save your teeth depending on the condition of your gums.

2. Canker Sores

If you have a canker sore anywhere in the mouth that fails to go away naturally in a week or two, you may want to have it checked by your dentist. They may not be canker sores but lesions that resemble them such as Gingivostomatitis which is common in young children.

3. Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes can affect the condition of your mouth. During puberty, blood flow to the gums increases, which can leave them feeling sore, swollen, and sensitive. During pregnancy, when hormone levels peak, the gums may be more susceptible to bleeding and irritation, and you may be more likely to develop gingivitis. Menopause also affects your gums and may cause them to burn, change colours, or bleed.

4. Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is essentially a pocket of pus that forms as a result of bacterial infection. This bacterial infection can cause the gums to swell and increase your chances of gum disease. Usually, an abscessed tooth can be treated with a root canal.

5. Tobacco

One of the biggest causes of gum disease is smoking and use of other tobacco products. Smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, dip, and snuff also contribute to gum disease and can be even more harmful than cigarettes. These products cause sores inside the mouth and can lead to oral cancer.

6. Oral Cancer

Your dentist screens your mouth for oral cancer at every check-up. Because oral cancer can lead to gingivitis and eventually periodontitis, it is suggested that you schedule biannual visits to your private dentist to ensure your mouth is cancer-free.

Oral cancer can start on the inner cheek, gums, tonsils, or tongue and appears at first as a sore that refuses to heal. This sore can be extremely painful if left untreated but may not hurt at all at first. Be cautious of sores or lesions that may show up in your mouth or on your gums, and if they don’t heal in a couple of weeks, ask your dentist to look at it.


It is important that you keep up with your dental hygiene to avoid developing gum disease. But, if you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis, seek help from your dentist immediately to avoid worsening your condition. Treatment is more successful when caught early, so book regular check-ups.

Any gum pain that lingers for more than a few days should also be looked at by your dentist. The treatment may be as simple as a saltwater rinse, or the pain may be the symptom of a serious condition that requires immediate attention. If in doubt, have it checked out!

Disclaimer: This article is contributed by a Guest Blogger. Ping of Health does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this article. Ping of Health disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.