Your gums are soft, fleshy tissues that support and protect your teeth, however, in case of gum pain, it can be a sign of irritation, intention, or injury to both your teeth and gums.
Gum pain is often a temporary symptom, however, other times it may require dental treatment to prevent further health complications.
Moreover, it can often be annoying that can occur for a number of reasons.
It can be due to something as simple as brushing too hard, having canker sores, or wearing dentures, retainers, or braces.
However, in the case of women, it can be due to hormonal changes, pregnancy, or menopause, or it could be due to the time-around period.
In other cases, it can be a sign of more serious oral issues like thrush, gingivitis, or periodontitis.
Keep on reading to learn more about gum pain in detail.
Causes of Gum Pain
Gum pain can occur due to multiple reasons. It can range from minor irritation to severe and debilitating.
Some of the potential causes of gum pain are:
These are small painful ulcers that can occur on your gums.
Cuts or Injuries
Foods and objects that enter your mouth can cause minor cuts or injuries to your gums and teeth in some cases.
Moreover, you may accidentally bite down your gums, which can also cause pain and bleeding in some cases.
Also known as Gingivitis, it can occur when bacteria buildup under the gums and can cause inflammation and bleeding.
However, without treatment, it can develop into periodontitis and lead to loose teeth.
If you are someone who smokes, then you are at a higher risk of gum diseases than nonsmokers.
Hormonal changes or fluctuations, particularly during pregnancy can cause you to experience swelling, pain, and bleeding in the gums.
Improper Flossing or Brushing Techniques
When you brush or floss your teeth vigorously or frequently can cause your gums to bleed and be painful.
A bacterial or viral infection in your sinuses can cause swelling of the sinus cavity.
If you have sinusitis, then you may also experience gum pain and toothache.
A bacterial infection in the root of your tooth can cause an abscess or a pus-filled sac.
Moreover, tooth abscesses can lead to gum swelling and pain and can also be serious.
Sometimes, it can also spread to other parts of your body, therefore, it is important to see a dentist immediately.
Learn more about Gum Graft here.
Medical Treatment for Gum Pain
Often treatment for gum pain depends on the underlying cause.
Moreover, they may also prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash, like a mouthwash that contains alcohol or chlorohexidine.
It can help to clean bacteria and prevent the future build-up of plaque.
On the other hand, if you have severe gum disease, your dentist can recommend surgery to repair bone or gum loss that the condition can cause.
In some cases, this can include bone and tissue grafting, to encourage the growth of new, healthy tissue.
However, in case of tooth abscess, you may need a root canal treatment.
During this procedure, your dentist will remove the infected pulp, or soft tissue inside the tooth and the abscess from the root and then repair and seal your damaged tooth.
Gum pain due to a sinus infection often lessens once the infection clears up.
For bacterial infections, however, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
Remedies for Gum Pain
In case the only symptoms you are experiencing is gum pain, then you can try the following remedies:
1# Saltwater Rinse
Warming 1 cup of water on the stove and pouring it into a cool glass can help you to make a salt water rinse.
Add 1 tablespoon of salt to want water and mix well.
Make sure to swish the mixture in the mouth and then spit it into the sink when you finish, however, do not swallow it.
The salt can prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth and decrease the bacteria on your gums that may be causing the swelling.
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water, at least twice a day until the swelling subsides.
You can either try a hot or cold compress to help reduce pain.
For a Hot Compress: Heat water to a tolerable temperature, soak a clean cloth in the hot water, and then squeeze out the excess.
Gently press the warm, damp cloth to your face near the area where it hurts, however, avoid putting it directly to your gums.
For a Cold Compress: Warm an ice pack in a clean cloth and apply it in the same way as above.
Moreover, you can use either method until the pain subsides, or alternate between hot and cold until any swelling and inflammation die out.
3# Herbal Poultice
You can use certain herbs and spices for home remedies in case of gum inflammation and pain.
Clove Powder and Spilanthes are both analgesics, i.e. pain-relieving herbs.
For centuries, people have uses these two as alternative oral pain relievers for a long time. An anti-inflammatory powder herb like turmeric can also help.
To use this treatment, mix the powder with a herb of your choice with a little warm water until you have a paste.
Apply the paste directly into your gums until the pain subsides, and then rinse your mouth with water thoroughly.
Ally as often as you need it.
Other Home Remedies
Some of the other home remedies you can use are:
Homemade Dental Spray
Dilute essential oils into a spray.
For this treatment, you need to use a small clean spray bottle that has never had anything in it before.
Fill the bottle with water and add about 5 drops of essential oil of your choice per ounce of carrier oil. Shake and spray the mixture lightly on your gums as needed.
However, never let the essential oils touch the skin without diluting them in a carrier oil like sweet almond oil. Moreover, never swallow them, swish with after afterward, and spit them out.
Oils like peppermint, oregano, and clove have natural pain-relieving inflammation-reducing, and circulation-boosting properties.
For this remedy, take a fresh tea bag and steep it in boiling water for up to 5 minutes, when it cools down, apply it directly to the painful gums, for at least 5 minutes.
Moreover, make sure to choose a tea that is high in astringent tannins like black tea, green tea, or even hibiscus tea.
Or you can also choose a tea that has anti-inflammatory properties like ginger and chamomile.
The anti-inflammatory herbs will soothe, while tannins will absorb anything that irritates the gums.
Oral Anesthetic Gels
Certain medicated gels are available in the market that contains natural and synthetic compounds.
These can help numb and treat gum pain.
Some even include pain-numbing compounds from botanicals like clove and Spilanthes.
Some of the common over-the-counter brands are Orajel and Anbesol. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.
Over-the-Counter Pain Killers
Simple common painkillers and NSAIDs like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen can help in a pinch.
However, if the pain is stubborn and topical methods are not working, give these options a try.
You can use them on their own or in addition to topical home treatment.
For dosage amounts, follow directions on the bottle labels.
Good oral and dental hygiene can help to prevent gum pain and other dental issues.
- brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes.
- flossing once daily
- using dental mouthwash daily
- having regular checkups with a dentist like every 6 months.
Moreover, when you stop smoking, this can also help to improve gum health
Smoking can reduce the blood flow towards your gums, which can impair healing and lead to discomfort.
When to See a Doctor?
Gum pain is often associated with isolated incidents that you can get treatment or relieve.
In certain cases, gum pain can be a symptom of a bigger oral health issue.
See your dentist or doctor if your gum pain is:
- persistent or intense
- interferes with eating or sleeping
- is accompanied by other symptoms
Moreover, gum pain can also be a sign of oral problems like:
Thrush: This oral yeast infection can include gum pain as a symptom.
Talk to your dentist if you have gum pain along with a yellowish coating on your mouth, throat, or inside your cheeks, it may be thrush.
Gingivitis: It is often characterized by swollen, painful gums that bleed easily.
Thus, go to your dentist if you have red, swollen, bleeding, and sore gums for over a week.
Periodontal Disease or Periodontitis: Periodontitis is an advanced form of untreated gingivitis.
Make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing gum pain on top of red, swollen gums: gum bleeding, receding gums, tooth loss, and abscesses.
In case of no other symptoms besides gum pain, you can try being gentler when brushing or flossing your teeth.
On the other hand, if you are a woman, take note of whether gum pain happens during certain times of the month.
Or if you are conceiving or going through menopause.
These natural hormonal shifts are not uncommon in causing gum pain now and again.
There a different causes of gum pain ranging from mild to severe, like gum diseases, infections, abscesses, and ulcers.
If you have gum pain then visit your dentist for a checkup. Without it, some causes of gum pain can lead o tooth decay or tooth loss.
Certain home remedies for gum pain like saltwater rinse, using certain essential oils, hot and cold compress, etc can help to avoid and relieve gum pain.