Pain has a tendency to create natural aversions. It burns to put your hand on a hot stove, so you make sure the burners are cool before you touch the range. Bee stings are painful, so when you see a hive, you walk the other way.
If brushing your teeth is hurting your gums, you’re in a unique predicament. You can’t avoid brushing your teeth, but you also don’t want your mouth to hurt. What can you do?
There are several factors that can contribute to gum pain with brushing. Some of them have serious underlying causes, while others relate to your brushing technique and the products you use in your oral care routine.
Changing brushing styles and switching up your toothpaste may be enough to ease your gum pain.
Are You Being Too Rough?
If you’re impatient or extremely thorough, you may be a little too rough on your teeth and gums.
Brushing your teeth isn’t like scrubbing burnt on cheese from a casserole dish. You can replace a dish if it gets scuffed. Your scuffed enamel will be damaged for the rest of your life. It’s an expensive fix, especially for a problem that’s so easily avoided.
What Kind of Toothbrush Are You Using?
It’s logical to assume that a firm brush will do a better job at scrubbing. A firm brush will work great for removing mildew from your tile or spilled candle wax from your granite countertop. It won’t work well for your teeth and gums at all.
There’s no reason to use anything other than a soft toothbrush in your mouth. Firm brushes will irritate and damage the soft tissue of your gums and scratch away your tooth enamel.
How Much Pressure Are You Applying?
In addition to using a firm brush, you should be using light pressure. You’re supposed to brush your teeth for two minutes a session. This amount of time correlates to how gently you should be brushing.
If you brush very hard, you’ll damage your teeth and remove your plaque in less than half that time. It’s better to be slow and gentle when removing bacteria and debris from your mouth.
How Do You Floss?
Flossing is a bit tedious. Like with any tedious chore, most people try to move through it quickly. Flossing fast or jamming the floss up against your gums can cause them to swell or even bleed.
If you believe your floss might be the culprit, switch to a water flosser. Water flossers are gentle, and many people find them soothing to the gums when they’re loaded with warm water.
Do You Have Gum Disease?
Half of Americans have gum disease. The odds are the same as a coinflip. Gum disease is common and highly treatable in its early stages. The key is to catch gingivitis early and reverse it. If you ignore the symptoms and allow them to progress, you may wind up with a serious case of periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a very common and mild inflammatory condition of the gums. Bacteria and plaque typically contribute to gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, management of the bacteria in your mouth and complete plaque removal can help to reduce or resolve the symptoms.
Using a toothpaste with ingredients like goldenseal and panax ginseng can help to reduce the inflammation of your gums. Combine these ingredients with a safe germ-killing solution like nano silver to see the best results.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease. Infection of the gums causes tissue to recede, sometimes exposing the root of the tooth. The infection may spread to the jawbone and into the bloodstream if left untreated. Periodontitis needs to be taken seriously. Your dentist may recommend surgery to help mitigate the damage caused by the infection.
Are You Using Irritants in Your Mouth?
Your gums can be just as sensitive as the skin on your face. If you use special shampoo or soap in the shower, you might also need to be using special toothpaste. Some ingredients in toothpaste and mouthwash serve no real purpose in the formula and may act as irritants to your gums.
Do your gums sting and burn when you use mouthwash? This could be due to the alcohol content of the product. Alcohol dehydrates everything it comes into contact with. This dehydrating effect could be making your gums hurt worse.
It’s great to kill off bad germs, but alcohol kills off all germs. Yes, it will kill off the germs responsible for causing gum disease. It will also kill off the probiotics your mouth uses to restore its natural and healthy balance.
Try using nano silver mouthwash instead. Natural nano silver particles destroy bacteria by stealing electrons away from their cell walls and causing them to implode. The ingredient is good-bacteria-friendly, well tolerated by most people, and safe for the human body. Any silver particles you swallow will pass harmlessly through your system in about 24 hours.
Any artificial ingredient, whether it be a flavor, color, or fragrance, has the potential to be an irritant. None of these things have a reason to be in your toothpaste.
Your toothpaste won’t work better if its mint flavor comes from artificial sources or if it has a blue stripe running through the center. These cosmetic additives don’t do anything to improve the quality of the formula. Skip toothpastes with artificial additives.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is an ingredient added to many household products. It’s used to make shampoos, soaps, and toothpastes lather up by removing surface tensions. The purpose of this lather is mostly decorative. People feel like they’re cleaner when their scrubbing motions create bubbles.
Studies of SLS classified it as a mild to moderate irritant. The findings suggested that SLS should only be used for very brief durations of time and completely rinsed away. Long story short, that’s not what happened. SLS made its way into most products we use, and we’re constantly bombarded by it. Applying it to your teeth for two minutes a day twice a day certainly does not constitute a very brief duration.
Don’t marinade your mouth or your skin in moderate irritants. You might be used to the lather, but when you think about the fact that it serves no purpose other than to irritate your skin and gums, you’re not going to miss it when it’s gone.
Do You Have a Dental Infection?
Dental infections aren’t always obvious to spot. A visible abscess in your mouth or a source or drainage almost certainly guarantees that a severe infection is present. Do not attempt to treat this infection at home. See an emergency dentist immediately.
Some infections hide below the gumline. If your gums are tender, your breath smells sour, and you have a fever, this might be a sign that an infection is hidden somewhere in your mouth or throat. You’ll want to see an emergency dentist even if you cannot readily pinpoint the source of a potential infection.
Taking Care of Your Mouth
Gum pain can be eased or sometimes cured by making simple changes to your oral hygiene routine.
Use a remineralizing toothpaste full of calcium to replenish the strength your enamel has lost throughout the course of the day. Ingredients like xylitol work in conjunction with coral calcium to protect the teeth after they’ve been repaired and remineralized by your toothpaste.
Natural antibacterial ingredients play a valuable role in soothing irritation and inflammation in the mouth. Killing the germs that cause infection or contribute to plaque buildup makes it easy to maintain a healthy oral microbiome.
Nano silver can be used as an ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash to help balance levels of bad bacteria in the mouth.
Never skip flossing, no matter how much you dislike it. A water flosser is a better option for people who need to be gentle on their sensitive gums. Although water flossers aren’t necessarily perfect, they’re far better than omitting the flossing step entirely.
While there are plenty of things you can do to manage the health of your gums at home, it may not be wise to assume you have everything under control.
If you’re experiencing severe pain, don’t take any chances. Make an appointment with your dentist right away.
Mild pain that comes and goes or seems to respond to natural antibacterial ingredients can be addressed with your dentist at one of your twice-yearly checkups. You’ve been remembering to schedule those, right?