Going to the dentist can be a nightmare when you have sensitive gums. The mild tingling or even slight pressure other people may feel while in the dentist's chair can actually feel like very real pain to you. Your sensitive gums can bother you at home as well, such as when you are flossing your teeth or eating certain foods. If you are worried about your sensitive gums and feel like you have a problem, it may help to know common reasons for this issue in the first place. Here are 3 reasons you may have sensitive gums.
Gingivitis, or an infection of the gums, is a very common reason for sensitivity in this area for many people. In fact, most adults (over 75%) have some form of gum disease and gingivitis is a known offender. Gingivitis is caused by bacteria that build up around the gum line and under your teeth, resulting in puffy, swollen, bleeding, or painful gums over time. If you notice a foul odor when you floss or bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, then you may have gum disease to blame. A deep tooth cleaning and special mouthwash can help reduce your symptoms and lead to healthier, happier gums.
Estrogen can actually cause your gums to be sensitive, puffy, or swollen. If you notice your gums are only tender around your menstrual cycle or when you are pregnant, then hormones may be to blame. Testosterone causes red blood cell levels to rise, so if you are a male on hormones then you may notice your gums being red and tender as well. Your dentist can help you determine if hormones are responsible for your gum issues by giving you an exam to rule other problems out.
If you have a tooth that is cracked, needs a filling, or is rotten, your gums can become sensitive as a result. If you notice sensitivity in only certain areas of your gum line, then an unhealthy tooth may be to blame. This is especially true if you are also noticing pain in your tooth or if the gum pain comes and goes.
A dentist, like those at Treasured Smiles Dentistry, can officially diagnose your problem. In very rare cases your sensitive gums can indicate something more serious, such as a threatening infection or even cancer, so it's important that you talk to your dentist about any and all gum sensitivity you have.