Painful, sore, red gums can be a symptom of gum inflammation or, more likely, periodontitis which is inflammation of the attachment fibres of the teeth and supporting bone. This can arise due to a number of different causes, including poor oral hygiene with improper brushing or flossing. Inflammation of the gums may manifest as painful gums, sensitivity, redness and swelling and bleeding gums either after brushing or when irritated.

Gum disease can as well lead to receding gums and even damage to the bones of the jaw. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase the sensitivity of the gums, which may in some cases lead to soreness or pain. Painful gums can also arise due to localized sores on the gums, such as abscesses or canker sores.

Painful Gums Causes

Painful gums causes

Painful gums

There are a number of different causes of gum pain. Almost everyone experiences painful gums or soreness in their gums at one time or another. Most of the time the pain or soreness is of a temporary nature and is not usually a cause of concern.

Sometimes, when you experience sore or painful gums, it may be due to a problem that you brought upon yourself that could have been avoided. Therefore, your lifestyle, including your hygienic practices, can have a great impact on what goes on inside your mouth.

Here are the possible reasons for sore gums:

Aggressive Brushing or Flossing

Taking good care of teeth involves, brushing them often and properly. When it comes to brushing your teeth however, more often may be better but more aggressively is not. Your teeth can stand frequent brushing but aggressive brushing may result to problems. What overly aggressive brushing can do however, besides causing wear and tear on your toothbrush, is to damage your gums (gingivae).

The same applies to flossing. You may be flossing your teeth with the idea you are cleaning them. That is true, but only to a certain extent. There are two reasons for flossing. One is to prevent decay and gum disease by removing food particles that might accumulate and harbor bacteria. The second reason is to massage your gums. Massaging them helps to keep the blood circulating underneath their surfaces as it should.

Gum Disease

The good news about gum disease is that it is normally both easily treatable and curable. The bad news is that if it is neglected and left untreated, your mouth and gingivae can eventually become a constant source of painful gums and discomfort.

There are two main types of gum disease: mild and severe. The mild type is called gingivitis and the more severe type is called periodontitis. One leads to the other. Inadequate dental hygiene practice can cause gingivitis (an inflammation of the gums or gingival tissues). There are two excellent ways to prevent gingivitis from occurring. One of them is to practice good dental hygiene. The other is to visit your dentist at least once or twice a year who can easily tell if you have gingivitis and can tell you what to do about it.

If you have gingivitis and it is allowed to develop into periodontitis, you will have a problem. The painful gums you are then likely to experience may only be the tip of the iceberg. The difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that gingivitis consists of inflammation on the surface of the gums while periodontitis goes deeper into the gums and can begin to inflame and infect the roots of the teeth as well as the bones the teeth are attached to.

Injuries or Irritation

If your gums get scratched, you may as well feel a certain amount of pain or tenderness. There are numerous small blood vessels and nerve endings in the gingivae. Because of these nerve endings, any pain due to a paper-thin cut, lesion, or a tiny puncture, may cause painful gums. These small injuries or traumas are generally harmless and the pain will of course eventually subside. The only problem is if the injury gets infected, although this is somewhat uncommon in healthy persons.

Hormonal changes

Painful gums due to changing hormones are normally only experienced by women. Hormones associated with pregnancy will sometimes cause a person’s gums to become swollen and inflamed, which is of course symptomatic of gingivitis. Pregnancy is one instance where gingivitis cannot always be avoided, but should it occur, its symptoms are generally mild and if proper care is given to the teeth, the condition will not advance and usually go away after delivery.

The pregnancy hormones can also cause one or more small nodules to develop on the gums, hence these nodules tend to bleed easily. These nodules are benign and usually go away following delivery.

Ill-Fitted Dentures

Ill-fitting dentures can often be a cause of painful gums. The negative effects dentures on gums, whether ill-fitting or not, most often involve the lower jaw as it is at the bottom of the mouth where it is more difficult to keep dentures in place. Lower dentures can too easily be moved about by the tongue or the action of the jaw or facial muscles, while upper dentures have more of a tendency to stay in place. If the lower dentures do not fit well, the problem will likely occur.

Receding Gums

Causes of painful gums

Receding gums

This is one of the most common causes of painful gums. Whether or not gingival recession will actually cause pain will vary, partly in response to the cause and to the manner in which the gums have receded. Receding gums are often a somewhat natural occurrence that tends to happen mostly in adults and the elderly, regardless of the lifestyle they have been leading.

There are many causes of receding gums that are not natural or related to heredity and are therefore preventable. Chewing tobacco can cause the gums to recede, along with other problems, which will be touched upon later. Bruxism or grinding of the teeth, inadequate brushing, and overaggressive brushing or flossing can be contributors.

Use of tobacco

It doesn’t much matter whether you smoke or chew tobacco. Partaking in either method can cause painful gums, the only difference between the two being the problems caused by smokeless tobacco are generally much worse. Whether you puff or chew, there are cytotoxic chemicals in tobacco and tobacco smoke that are not kind to your gums. Cytotoxic chemicals are chemicals or substances that are destructive to the cells and tissues in your body.

Chewing tobacco can easily cause mouth sores, cracked lips, and bleeding gums, not to mention putting the user at a much higher risk of developing oral cancer. The nicotine in tobacco causes vasoconstriction or narrowing of the blood vessels in the gums. Any deficiency in the blood supply to the gums will do little in the way of keeping them healthy and will have a tendency to cause them to recede, opening the way to various gum problems, the least of which may be painful gums.

Stress

Stress can be a factor of temporomandibular (TMD) disorders. TMD are characterized by jaw joint pain caused by grinding of the teeth or overuse of the jaw muscles. Grinding of your teeth can often contribute to painful gums, but stress can cause gum pain in other ways as well. There appears to be a definite relationship between stress and an increased risk of gum disease, with highly emotional people having the greatest risk of having gum problems.

Teething

Teething is the most common cause of gum pain in infants although it is usually a temporary, one-tooth-at-a-time condition. Some infants and small children experience more pain or soreness than others, some experience little discomfort at all, and almost all of them get through the teething process without problems.

Adults can sometimes experience this type of discomfort if a tooth does not come through the gums as it should, or more likely with the appearance of the wisdom teeth. Impacted teeth are sometimes a cause of gum pain in both adults and adolescents.

Canker Sores

Common culprits behind painful gums are mouth ulcers. These painful sores can develop anywhere inside the mouth, including on the gums, and often have a whitish centre with red edges. You may have one canker sore at a time, making only one area on your gums sore, or you may have multiple sores at the same time throughout your mouth.

While researchers don’t know what causes canker sores, there may be bacterial or viral involvement. People with certain autoimmune disease may also be more likely to have gum problems caused by canker sores. Canker sores often come back over time and are not contagious.

Chemotherapy

This can have a number of unpleasant side effects, including painful, swollen, and bleeding gums. Many people undergoing treatment for cancer contend with stomatitis, which causes the development of painful sores and ulcers on the gums and throughout the mouth.

Gum Pain in Back of Mouth

Causes of painful gums

Swollen gums at the back of mouth

There are also instances where you are likely to experience gum pains at the back of your mouth. In most cases, the common culprit of this kind of condition is the eruption of wisdom of wisdom teeth. During the normal growth stages one may start to develop molar teeth while the jaw bone expand in length to give more space for additional teeth. This is common in teenagers and adults in their early twenties.

However, this condition of painful gums at the back of the mouth may be triggered by some other conditions which we have talked about above. Incase this problem is persistent, visiting your dentist will be the best option to achieve a lasting solution.

Sore Gum around one Tooth

When brushing your teeth, it’s common to suddenly spot something you didn’t notice before. How, for example, could a swollen gums around one tooth form? There are a few reasons a gum can swell in one area, including an abscessed tooth, gum disease and improper brushing or flossing. Here are some causes of this common problem and what to do if it happens to you.

Hygienic problems

If there is painful gums around just one tooth in your mouth, it may be because you didn’t brush or floss correctly, which can leave behind food debris that causes decay and inflammation in the neglected area. Over time, this inadequate oral hygiene can cause gum disease as well. Be on the lookout for pale, red or swollen gums, as well as bleeding while brushing, pus coming from the tooth, a loose tooth or persistent bad breath and taste.

Abscessed tooth

This is very common cause of local gum sores and indicates you have an infection in or around your tooth. Often this can come from an untreated cavity that causes bacteria to spread throughout your tooth and infect it. Keep in mind it can cause irritation and ultimately cost you the tooth if left untreated. Because treatment is required for an abscessed tooth, your dentist may give you antibiotics for the infection.

A healthy mouth and beautiful smile depend on how much care you put into both your teeth and gums. Start with oral care at home and follow it up with semi-annual dentist visits to make sure your mouth health is uninterrupted from ear to ear.

Gum Pain between Teeth

Any injury to the gums or teeth can be very painful. In some cases, however, the cause of severe dental pain is not obvious. Pain that comes on suddenly may be caused by particles of food that got lodged in a cavity and have started to irritate the nerve inside the tooth. If you lose a filling or a crown, the nerve inside the tooth may be exposed, and you may feel severe pain when air or hot or cold substances touch the uncovered part of the tooth.

Painful gums that becomes more severe over a period of time is commonly caused by debris lodged under the gums. Popcorn is a common offender. Because the hard cellulose fibres of the popcorn kernel don’t break down, it can remain stuck between your gum and your tooth.

Gums Pain Home Remedy

Pain on the gums is a common problem. The tissue that forms the gums is thick, fibrous and full of blood vessels. Hence, when there is swelling, the gums may protrude or bulge out and appear red instead of their normal pink color. This can cause the gums to become irritated, sensitive and even painful. The gums also may bleed more easily when brushing or flossing your teeth.

You can soothe the pain and swelling of gums with proper oral hygiene and home remedies. However, if you have swollen gums and symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your dentist.

Warm and Cold Compresses

Warm and cold compresses can provide quick relief for sore, swollen gums as they help reduce pain and swelling. You need to hold the compresses against your face, not directly on the painful gums.

Salt Water

Salt is another effective remedy for swollen gums. It is used to inhibit growth of bacteria in the mouth and prevents infections that may contribute to several oral health issues. After brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush, gently rub your gums with salt for a few seconds. Rinse it off with warm water. Do this once daily. After your gums are healthy again, do this 3 times a week to prevent recurrence.

Another option is to add ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and use it to rinse your mouth twice daily until the swelling subsides.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This can also help reduce gum inflammation and pain. It can even help kill germs and fight oral problems. For oral health, use food grade, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution only. Mix equal parts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution and water. Swish the solution around your gums and teeth for 30 seconds. Rinse it off with warm water.

Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Rub this paste on your gums, wait 1 minute and then rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. Use either of these treatments 2 or 3 times a week. Make sure you do not swallow hydrogen peroxide.

Turmeric

Turmeric is also a good home remedy for painful and swollen gums too. It contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. In addition, it prevents the spread of bacterial activity that causes several oral problems. Mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the gums with your clean finger.

Black Tea Bags

Black tea bags have tannins that can help reduce inflammation of the gums. In addition, its antioxidant properties promote good oral health. Just steep a tea bag in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove it and allow it to cool to a bearable temperature. Hold the tea bag on the affected area of your gums for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water solution.

Aloe Vera

Another effective remedy to treat swollen and bleeding gums is aloe vera. This herb has anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial properties that can prevent the growth of plaque causing bacteria in the mouth and soothe inflamed gums. Cut open an aloe vera leaf to get the gel and rub the gel on the gums for 1 to 2 minutes, the rinse with warm water.

Quick Relief from Gum Pain

painful gum treatment

Saline solution for gum pain treatment

Natural pain relief or home remedies are sought after by many individuals who are suffering from gum pains because it is very accessible and can eliminate pain right away. Pain is such a daunting experience for many people especially the pain coming from the gums. Gum pains can happen any time without early warning. Usually, gum pain last for hours and can give any individual a hard time if doesn’t treated right away.

Those who suffer from painful gums can have a quick relief by using natural remedies. Here is some of the most common natural remedy that you can find right through your own home.

  • Use garlic. This is the most common ingredient found in their kitchen. Prepare herbal mixture using garlic. All you have to do is to peel the garlic and minced it by using a knife and place it around your painful gums. This is the easiest way to eliminate pain when you are suffering from gum infection or tooth infection.
  • The onion. Onion is also one of the most important elements that people use for everyday cooking but it can also be used as a natural remedy for gum pain. Many studies have shown that onion has antibacterial component that can help eliminate bacteria that are sometimes brought about by gum and tooth infection. It has been proven that if one person consumes one onion each day by mastication, they will eliminate the occurrence of having gum pain.
  • Vanilla extract. Gargle a pure vanilla extract throughout the mouth to relief you from extreme pain. These extract will help give the gum a numbness that would quickly relief you from pain.
  • Tea tree oil has long been use to eliminate any pain in mouth especially painful gums. To apply tea tree oil extract you have to use cotton to rub around the painful part of the gum. This oil does really help in eliminating the pain easily even though it doesn’t taste good at all.
  • Use of cloves. They can also help in stopping the spread of bacteria in your gum that might cause infection and extreme pain.
  • The lime extract. Lime is very rich in vitamin C. This is useful in maintaining overall oral health inside the mouth thus reducing the occurrence of gum pain.

More references

  1. Gums problem basics:
  2. Causes of painful gums:
  3. Common causes of gum pains:
  4. Causes of swollen gum around one tooth:
  5. Severe gum pains:
  6. Home remedies for painful gums:
  7. Natural gum pain relief: