Author: Lizzie Smith – blog last updated on Wednesday 9th October 2023
Healthy gums don’t hurt, even while eating, brushing or flossing your teeth. If you experience pain in your gums, something’s wrong. In this article, we list the possible causes of sore gums and give you some tips on how to solve them.
Causes of sore gums
1. Damage to the gums – This can be caused, for example, by broken teeth, poorly fitting braces or dentures, a piercing or something sharp in your food. Brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush that’s too hard can also damage your gums and cause pain.
2. Diseases, nutritional deficiencies and bad habits – During a bad flu and other conditions where resistance is reduced, your gums may feel painful. Unhealthy dietary habits can also weaken the gums, making them more painful in the long run. The same applies to unhealthy habits such as smoking and too much alcohol, where oral health is affected by the toxins in these “stimulants”.
3. Using toothpaste and mouthwash containing harsh ingredients – Not all oral care products are kind to your gums. Therefore, avoid ingredients such as alcohol, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and other unnecessary chemicals that irritate the gums.
4. Inflamed gums – In most cases, this is the cause of sore gums. Inflamed gums are locally red and swollen, and can be painful and bleed when brushing. Please note: even without pain, gums can be inflamed and require treatment.
Inflamed gums are usually caused by the bacteria that form plaque, together with saliva and food particles. If you don’t treat this, it will become a chronic infection. Because plaque hardens into porous tartar, more and more bacteria can settle. The inflammation can spread to the deeper dental tissues (periodontitis), which must be treated by the dentist.
5. Inflamed tooth root – Inflammation can also come from within. A fistula works its way out due to an inflammation of the root canal. Only when the fistula reaches the surface of the gums does it become visible and painful. As soon as you notice this, you should consult your dentist. Root canal treatments may not have a good name, but they solve this internal inflammation.
How to remedy sore gums
How you can remedy sore gums depends on the cause. If you have poorly fitting braces or dentures, visit your practitioner so this cause can be removed. As for the health factors, you can’t avoid the flu, but you can change a poor diet or unhealthy habits such as smoking.
In most cases, however, sore gums are a matter of better-removing plaque from your teeth. You can do this yourself with the following tips. If you can’t manage this within a couple of weeks, you should make an appointment with the dentist.
1. Brush your teeth better
Almost everyone knows you should brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes. But it’s also important how you do it. To prevent sore gums, don’t brush too hard. The border between teeth and gums also deserves extra attention because plaque quickly collects here and comes into direct contact with the gums. Brush all sides and surfaces of your teeth, and don’t forget the backs of your back molars.
If you’re unsure whether you’re doing it right, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for brushing instructions.
2. Clean the interdental spaces daily
These are the nooks and crannies between your teeth and molars. Your toothbrush won’t reach here, so to remove the plaque here, you have to floss daily, use toothpicks or brush with toothbrushes (interdental brushes).
You can also ask your dentist for instructions or check yourself whether all plaque is gone using a plaque detector.
3. Choose mouth-friendly toothpaste and mouthwash
Aggressive ingredients aren’t necessary to properly clean your teeth and gums. Choose products that don’t affect the oral cavity’s natural balance but effectively combat harmful bacteria. RyttPro Toothpaste Magic Mint is such a mouth-friendly toothpaste.
It’s nice to rinse your mouth after brushing and flossing or brushing your teeth. You rinse away the last remnants of plaque and get a super clean mouth feeling. Choose a mouth-friendly mouthwash such as RyttPro Oral Rinse.
4. Have tartar removed regularly or do it yourself
Tartar is plaque that’s remained and hardened under the influence of minerals in the saliva. Tartar is porous and can’t be brushed away, so even more plaque remains. Because this leads to inflamed and painful gums, it’s necessary to remove tartar from your teeth regularly.
Dental cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist serve this purpose. However, you can carefully remove tartar visible on your teeth ( the supra-gingival tartar) yourself. But not with acids such as vinegar and lemon juice. This makes tartar easier to remove, but these acids also attack your tooth enamel.
You can remove the visible tartar yourself with the Moist-R Whitening Sponge. This soft sponge cleans your enamel deeply through super absorbent nano-particles, which transform into nano-capillary tubes in contact with water. These can erase the contaminants from your teeth without any risk of damaging your gums. If you suffer from sore gums, this is an excellent option.
A more traditional method is a dentist’s hook, which requires a steady hand. The Profi Dental Hook is a great option. It’s a complete set of two stainless steel dental brackets and a mouth mirror. One of the ends of a dental bracket is a rubber tip, with which you can massage the border between teeth and gums. This removes plaque from this sensitive edge and stimulates blood flow to the gums.
Neglected tartar also grows under the gums, the so-called sub-gingival tartar. Removing this is a job for your dentist, dental hygienist or periodontist.
5. The RyttPro Healthy Gums Kit
Previously, we mentioned RyttPro Toothpaste Magic Mint and RyttPro Oral Rinse. Both are based on the effective formula OZ-3X, which consists of stabilised chlorine dioxide, zinc and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC); all three excellently combat harmful bacteria without disrupting the balance of the oral flora. These products also don’t contain harmful but commonly used chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, flavourings or colouring agents.
6. Visit the dentist
Does gingivitis cause your sore gums? In principle, using the tips above, you can treat this yourself in an early phase. If you can’t get the inflamed gums under control within two weeks, visit your dentist or dental hygienist. The same applies to more serious gum infections or severe pain in your gums.
No matter how well you care for your teeth and gums, periodic checkups and dental cleanings by the dentist and dental hygienist remain necessary. However, you can ensure you’ll encounter fewer problems.
7. Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle
Gums shouldn’t be painful. If they are, you really need to pay attention to it. If your oral hygiene is in order, there may be another cause. With flu, the tissues in your mouth and gums may be sore, but as the other symptoms disappear, the sore gums should also resolve on their own. If not, there may be another underlying disease. In that case, consult your doctor.
Preventing sore gums
Prevention is better than cure, so use the seven tips above to prevent sore gums. As mentioned under point 6, your dental hygienist and dentist will be ready more quickly during your periodic appointments.
Oral Health Foundation: Gum disease
British Dental Journal: Time to take gum disease seriously