Things That Cause Painful Gums

Dealing with painful gums can sometimes be challenge, simply because there are so many potential causes of the condition, and to effectively treat a disease or disorder, one usually has to know the cause.

Both Teeth And Gums Are Important - Sometimes people will only experience pain or soreness, but usually when one experiences pain there is some swelling and often bleeding as well. In practicing oral hygiene, we tend to concentrate on the teeth, leaving the gums to fend for themselves. Our thinking is that as long as we keep our teeth in good shape, the gums will follow. There's much to be said about this, but it doesn't always hold true, and sometimes gum problems can be a precursor to tooth problems. If you do brush your teeth religiously, and properly, the chances are your gums will remain healthy and pain free, but there are things which can cause gum disease or simply painful gums no matter how well you brush your teeth.

In improper or insufficient diet is probably the leading cause of painful gums after poor dental hygiene. A vitamin C deficiency very often leads to gum problems, and painful gums even if the gums aren't actually diseased. In times past, sailors on long voyages would contract scurvy when the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables ran out, largely due to a deficiency in vitamin C. Scurvy would start with painful gums and progress to the loss of teeth.

Medications can also be a cause, as can dentures. In either case your doctor or dentist should be able to get to the root cause and determine the proper type of treatment. Some who experience painful gums may be having a reaction from the toothpaste or mouthwash they use, in which case a change in brands may be all that is needed to relieve painful gums.

Improper oral hygiene, nutritional deficiencies, medications, or dentures can all cause painful gums, and if not addressed, gum disease may be the result, the most common being gingivitis. If your gums are painful, or tend to bleed when you brush your teeth, it may be a sign of gingivitis, although poking the gun with a toothbrush bristle or the presence of a small wound or abscess may be the cause of the pain and bleeding. Still, if the pain and bleeding persist, it's of utmost importance to see the dentist, who can determine the course of treatment, which may be medication, or simply a lifestyle change.

The Road To Periodontitis - If gingivitis is allowed to progress unchecked, the gums eventually begin to shrink, and pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets where plaque can collect and build up. When this happens, both the gums and the teeth will suffer. At this stage, gingivitis becomes more than an inflammation, and takes on the form of a chronic infection, and also takes on a new name, periodontal disease, which in its more advanced stages is called periodontitis.  If you have periodontitis, painful gums will persist, but will likely become the least of your problems. Tooth loss now becomes an issue, as does heart disease and other serious complications.

Prevention Is Best - When you first begin to experience painful gums, gingivitis is likely the cause.  Gingivitis is both preventable and easily treatable, starting with a visit to the dentist, where a good teeth cleaning will probably be in order. Following that, use of a good mouthwash will likely be prescribed, and the gums should then begin to heal. As far as gingivitis, periodontal disease, and periodontitis are concerned, prevention and early stage treatment is the key. The alternative could be a need for oral surgery and gum restoration.