Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Why Are My Gums Sensitive?
Gum sensitivity isn't fun. It can greatly negatively affect your daily life. Chewing, drinking and speaking can become painful and uncomfortable. Hot and cold liquids and solids as well as pressure cause you to wince in pain. Not only is gum sensitivity uncomfortable, but it can be a sign of a severe dental issue.
There many causes of sensitive gums including:
1. Hard Brushing
Being overzealous in your brushing will get rid of plaque, germs and bacteria. It can also cause damage to your teeth and gums. Brushing your teeth too hard can inadvertently scrape off some tooth enamel. Your gums may be sensitive and swollen because you accidentally brush your gums too hard.
Using a hard toothbrush can worsen the problem. It is recommended that you use a soft-bristled brush and change out your toothbrush every three months.
Even using an abrasive toothpaste, such as baking soda or a toothpaste with added ingredients to scratch off plaque, can make your gums sensitive by scratching and tearing your gums.
Your body does many weird things when hormones are out of whack. The most noticeable change often witness is the reduction in the body's ability to fight off germs and infections. The same hormonal change happens to your gum tissue. During a hormonal change, your gum tissue's ability to properly interact with bacteria is decreased, leading to an increased risk of infection, inflammation and sensitivity. Sensitive gums, for example, is a common symptom for pregnant women.
Certain foods can cause extra irritation to your gums. Foods that have a lot of acidity and sugar can especially cause irritation and sensitivity to your gums. Acidic and sugary foods and drinks can eat away at the enamel of teeth and the soft layers of gum tissue. These same foods and drinks can, therefore, penetrate sensitive, under layers of gums, making them irritated.
4. Appliance Irritation
Dental appliances can be a painful nuisance by themselves. They can scrape and cut the inside of the mouth, make teeth sore and irritate gums. Braces, retainers, dentures and other mouth appliances can cause gum irritability, inflammation and sensitivity with the pulling, tugging, scraping and cutting they do to the gums. In many cases, your mouth will toughen and adapt to the dental appliance. If your gum sensitivity and irritation doesn't subside on its own, it may be that the appliance doesn't fit right and your dentist needs to adjust it.
5. Gum Disease
Gum sensitivity is a hallmark symptom of gum disease. Gum disease involves the infection of the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue. While the damage and discomfort of gum disease can be reduced and reversed with proactive treatment, it can lead to tooth loss and bone loss in the jaw bone if it isn't treated.
Gum disease is often preceded by gingivitis, a common, treatable, inflammation and sensitivity of the gums. In many, but not all, cases gingivitis progresses to gum disease if not treated.
If none of the previous issues are the cause of your gum sensitivity, it may be that you have gingivitis which can lead to gum disease or you may have the beginning of gum disease. Whatever the case may be, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. If your gum disease isn't treated right away, it will escalate to more discomfort and pain, extensive dental work and lost teeth.
Gum sensitivity isn't necessarily a symptom of gum disease. It can be the result of something as simple as brushing your gums too hard.
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