What causes gum irritation?

Certain habits can cause irritated and sore gums.

If you have experienced gum irritation, you will know that the issue can be very uncomfortable. The problem can be caused by several factors, many of which are easy to prevent. In fact, some of your daily habits could be contributing to your discomfort — read on to find out what could be damaging your soft gum tissue and what you can do to prevent irritation and pain…

1. Brushing too hard

One of the most common causes of irritated and tender gums is using too much force when brushing. You might think that you need to brush your teeth vigorously to keep your teeth clean, but the reality is that overbrushing can cause damage to your enamel, as well as your gums. Exerting too much pressure on the gums can lead to irritation and even infection over time. When you brush your teeth, be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently but thoroughly. Try to clean all the surfaces of the teeth to remove plaque, food particles, and other debris, but don’t be tempted to scrub as hard as you can.

2. Incorrect flossing

Flossing is a very important step in any good oral hygiene routine, and the habit can go a long way toward maintaining healthy teeth and gums. But, flossing in a manner that is too rough can cause damage to your gums. It can cause the gums to bleed, making them susceptible to irritation. Don’t use too much pressure when you floss. Instead, move the floss gently, ensuring that you reach the sides of the teeth, as well as the area beneath the gum line. Try not snapping the floss or pulling it vigorously back and forth, as this can bruise your gum tissue and cause pain.

3. Over-the-counter whitening products

Many of us would like a brighter smile, and thanks to advancements in modern cosmetic dentistry, it is possible to get rid of surface stains and achieve more beautiful teeth. When it comes to whitening your teeth, it is always advisable to consult your dentist first and opt for professional treatment. Over-the-counter products at pharmacies often cause irritation because they contain peroxide that can irritate the gums if it comes in contact with the tissue. Over-the-counter products are not custom-made to fit your mouth, so the risk of peroxide touching your gums is high. If you have your teeth whitening with the guidance of your dentist, on the other hand, they will ensure that you remain comfortable and safe throughout the process.

4. Certain foods

There are a few foods that can cause gum irritation. Particularly hard and crunchy foods, for example, can scrape the gums and lead to discomfort — some of the most common culprits include hard candy, chips, and crackers. If you are craving something crunchy but prefer something healthier, try raw vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, celery, or fruits like apples. These fruits and vegetables have a fibrous texture that can help clean your teeth by scrubbing away food particles, plus the action of chewing them promotes the production of saliva, which keeps your mouth moist and clean.

How can we help?

At Iris Dental, we care about our patients’ oral health and are available to address any questions or concerns you might have about your hygiene or lifestyle habits. If you are struggling with irritated gums and are not sure what to do about the issue, we encourage you to come and see us. We will assess the condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth and let you know if we identify any underlying health problems. We will then recommend a treatment that is best suited to your particular needs and guide you through the process.

To find out about the full range of treatments we offer at Iris Dental, please have a look here.

To book an appointment with our team, please get in touch here or give us a call at (03) 9394 7877.

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Point Cook Medical Centre Suite 5
225-229 Sneydes Rd

Point Cook VIC 3030
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