When gums are red, tender, swollen, or even bleeding; gum disease is potential culprit #1.
And at Ria Family Dental, it is the first thing we will look at. However, there are can also be other reasons that gums can “act up”.
Even if there is no associated discomfort, unhealthy gums make it vital to visit your Yeronga dentist so the source of your symptoms can be identified and addressed.
So, including gum disease, let’s take a look at what causes gums to turn red, swell, and bleed.
Potential Causes of Irritated Gums
This is a bit anti-intuitive, but your brushing can be the cause of your irritated gums. If your technique is on the aggressive side, you might be damaging your gums.
Here’s what you should do:
- Brush at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Replace the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
- Brush the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Move the toothbrush in short strokes.
- Brush gently.
Again, an unusual suspect! In most jobs, the tools you use are as important as how you use them. This is particularly true of toothbrushes, which can harm your gums.
For most people, a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush is a bit too much, and a soft, round-tip-bristled brush is a better choice.
Also, be sure to change your toothbrush every three months or so. This ensures the toothbrush will be effective on your gums and is not carrying any old gunk or bacteria.
When it comes to brushing, tools are just as important as technique and if you have any questions if you are brushing correctly, ask your Ria Family Dental staff member for a demonstration of proper brushing technique.
Similar to brushing, poor technique at flossing can irritate your gums. Two of the main problems here are super-fine floss or using a “sawing” motion when flossing.
Instead, use a ribbon-type floss and gently slide it between the teeth, never forcing it. Then, wrap it around each tooth and floss. Don’t let flossing, which should help your gums stay pink and healthy, become damaging to them.
Poor dental hygiene
This is the most common cause of troubled gums. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and this is natural.
However, if you don’t brush and floss bacteria away, every day, it will combine with food debris, byproducts of acid, and saliva, to turn into plaque, which stubbornly attaches to your teeth.
This plaque can accumulate and harden, particularly at the gum line. This leads to soreness and irritation.
Twice-a-day brushing and daily flossing is your line of defence against plaque build-up. You can also control plaque by limiting sugary or acidic food and not using any tobacco products.
Over time, plaque build-up causes gum inflammation, technically known as gingivitis. This is the first stage of gum disease, and if left untreated can become periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a serious infection that can cause gum recession, weakened ligaments, damaged bones, and tooth loss.
The more quickly gingivitis is identified and dealt with, the more likely it is that periodontitis and the threatening complications that accompany it can be avoided. This is another reason to visit
Ria Family Dental
every six months!
Also called mouth ulcers, canker sores develop in the soft tissues of the mouth, including the gums. They can appear singly or in groups.
Canker sores are generally harmless, and their symptoms can be handled with topical medications. If canker sores persist, you need to visit the dentist.
Dental appliances, like braces, retainers, and dentures, can take a bit of time to become comfortable in the mouth. When these appliances are placed, they may cause irritation and soreness, but the mouth and gums should adapt.
However, if the irritation continues, it may mean that the appliance is fitted poorly or broken. In that case, it’s time for a trip to your dentist to make sure everything is working correctly.
Cigarette smoke contains 3000+ toxic chemicals, the majority of which are known to irritate the gums.
Smoking also causes plaque build-up, bacterial imbalance, and gum disease. If you smoke, kicking the habit may be the first step towards calming painful gums.
Chemotherapy can cause inflammation of the mouth (stomatitis). During chemotherapy, if your gums are sore, your dentist may be able to suggest ways to minimise gum discomfort.
Join the Ria Family Dental!
At Ria Family Dental in Yeronga, we provide comprehensive care addressing both your short and long-term dental care needs.
We promise to provide an honest, judgment-free environment in which we practice convenient, comfortable, and conservative care designed to maximise your smile and oral health!
We are located at 1/451B Fairfield Rd, with Yeronga station and bus stops nearby, as well a convenient storefront parking. For the convenience of our patients, we offer early evening hours on most weeknights.
Same Day Dental Emergency Appointment Available!
We are located at 1/451B Fairfield Rd in Yeronga.