5 Simple Causes of Irritated Gums
A healthy smile isn't just about white teeth; it's also about having pink, firm gums. Many of our patients at Gentle Care Dentistry in Hornsby often come to us with concerns about gum irritation. While irritated gums can sometimes be a sign of more serious conditions like gum disease, there are also simpler causes that you may not be aware of. Here are five common culprits that might be causing your gum discomfort:
A Closer Look at Causes:
Improper Brushing Technique: Brushing is essential for oral hygiene, but it's the technique that counts. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or applying too much force can cause your gums to become irritated. Over time, vigorous brushing can lead to gum recession and even wear away the enamel of your teeth. To keep your gums healthy, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently massage your gums in a circular motion.
Toothpaste and Mouthwash Sensitivities: The choice of oral care products plays a significant role in gum health. Some people might be sensitive to the ingredients in certain toothpaste or mouthwashes. Ingredients like alcohol, which is found in many mouthwashes, can be harsh on the gums. Similarly, toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) can cause irritation for some. If you suspect your toothpaste or mouthwash is the culprit, try switching to a milder, alcohol-free, or SLS-free product.
Dietary Choices: What you consume can directly affect your gums. Foods and drinks high in sugar and acid can cause gum irritation. Soda, candies, and even some citrus fruits can be culprits. Always rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic or sugary items and consider using a straw for drinks that might harm your teeth and gums. Also, a balanced diet rich in vitamins C and D can boost gum health.
Dental Appliances: For those who wear braces, dentures, or other dental appliances, gum irritation can sometimes occur. It's essential to ensure these appliances fit properly and are clean. Braces can rub against the inner cheeks and gums, causing sore spots. Dentures, if not fitted correctly, can press against the gums and lead to soreness. Regular dental check-ups and adjustments can alleviate these issues.
Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, and even while taking certain medications can lead to increased gum sensitivity and irritation. During these periods, the blood flow to the gums might increase, making them more sensitive and prone to inflammation. It's essential to maintain good oral hygiene practices during these times and consult your dentist if the irritation persists.
If you're experiencing gum irritation, it's essential not to ignore the symptoms. While these simple causes can often be the culprit, ongoing or severe irritation can be a sign of more serious conditions like gingivitis or periodontitis. Early detection and treatment are crucial in maintaining your overall oral health.
At Gentle Care Dentistry in Hornsby, we prioritise the health and comfort of our patients. If you're concerned about irritated gums or any other oral health issues, we're here to help. Our team of dedicated professionals will provide you with personalised advice and treatments tailored to your needs. Remember, a healthy smile is a combination of great teeth and happy gums!