Do Your Gums Hurt?

healthygumsDo your gums bother you? Normally you are not aware of your gums unless there is something stuck between your teeth or under your gum. If you become aware of your gums because they are sore, tender, or bleeding, you may be developing periodontal disease. There are two stages of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the earliest stage and periodontitis is the severest stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis can be reversed, but periodontitis is not as easy to treat. Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss, and has been linked to several other chronic systemic diseases. If your gums hurt visit your dentist.

Tender Gums

If you have tender gums you may be developing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingival tissue (gum tissue). It is caused by bacterial plaque that forms on your teeth and gums.  Common signs and symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed easily when brushing or flossing. There are other reasons your gums may be achy or tender. Certain diseases such as diabetes or cancer can also cause tender or bleeding gums. Bruxing, the habit of grinding and clenching your teeth can cause tender gums.  However, if you have stopped attending your twice–yearly dental checkups and cleanings your gums may become sensitive due to irritation from plaque and tartar buildup which can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Other signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Receding gums
  • Pockets forming in between your teeth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • A bad taste in your mouth

Avoid Gum Irritation

To avoid gum irritation practice good oral hygiene which includes brushing for two minutes twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing daily, and rinsing with a non-alcoholic, antibacterial mouthwash. Also, visit your dentist twice yearly for a thorough checkup and professional cleanings.  

About your Des Moines Dentist

The Gateway Dental Group provides comprehensive dental treatments including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Burds also has extensive experience helping his patients suffering from sleep disorders obtain restful sleep via oral appliance therapy. You can contact Dr. Stephen J. Burds office at 515-442-5659. We welcome patients from River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.