The gums play a key role in the mouth – they protect your jawbone and help keep your teeth in place. Sometimes, however, things don’t always go as they should. A typical sign that something is wrong is gum pain. Gum pain can happen at any age, but it’s more common in older people. It can be very painful and it’s therefore something that should be taken seriously.
In this post, we’ll discuss the typical causes of gum pain and various ways you can alleviate it.
Common causes of gum pain
The most common causes of gum pain are:
- Smoking. Smoke and cigarette chemicals, such as tar and nicotine, are very irritating to the gums and can cause gum problems.
- Period hormones. Women sometimes find that they become more susceptible to gum infections during their period. This is because of changes in hormone levels.
- Poor oral hygiene. A lack of proper brushing can lead to lesions and infections inside your mouth and on your gums.
- Genes. Some people are genetically predisposed to gum problems. In particular, these include people with autoimmune diseases where the body attacks its own cells and tissues.
- Diabetes. Diabetes can cause issues with blood circulation which in turn can lead to gum problems.
- Some medications. Certain medications can impact your gums. For example, antihistamines, which some people need for allergies and asthma, can dry your mouth which in turn increases your risk of gum infection. Another example is contraceptives, which can cause gum inflammation.
What to do if you have gum pain
If the cause of your gum pain is an infection, then see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to temporarily alleviate your gum pain.
- Apply cold to your gums. Cold is an effective way to reduce gum pain because it numbs the area. To apply cold to your gums, try making a cold compress. Start by putting ice in a plastic, sealable bag. Then add a bit of water to the bag, seal it and wrap it in a damp towel. Finally, apply to compress to your gums. You should immediately feel some alleviation of your pain.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Salt can help to kill an infection. Stir two spoons of salt into a glass of water and then rinse your mouth with it. Don’t drink it though, as the salt can dehydrate you.
- Rub clove oil onto your gums. Try rubbing clove oil on your gums as it can sometimes reduce gum pain.
- Take painkillers. You can buy over-the-counter painkillers from a pharmacy that will temporarily alleviate your gum pain.
- Rinse with a special mouthwash. Some mouthwashes are specifically designed to help treat gum problems. Ask your local pharmacist for help choosing one.
At Scott Arms Dental Practice, we have many years’ experience dealing with gum problems. If you have a gum problem that you’d like us to take a look at, call us on 0121 357 5000 or book online. We also have an emergency dental service available 7 days a week, 365 days a year.