What Can Cause Painful Gums?


Quick Answer

Gingivitis and periodontitis can cause pain and redness in the gums, reports MedicineNet. The hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy also can make guns more sensitive, leading to some soreness. Abscesses and canker sores can cause pain as well.

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What Can Cause Painful Gums?
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Full Answer

Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, usually comes before periodontitis, or gum disease, but the progression does not always take place, notes WebMD. Bacteria accrue inside plaque during gingivitis, which is why the gums swell and bleed easily during flossing and brushing. There is gum irritation, but the teeth are still securely in place, without any damage to bone or tissue. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, in which the inner layer of bone and gum recedes and forms pockets, in which debris can form an infection. The battle between enzymes and toxins erodes the bone and tissue that keep teeth in place. This possible progression is why gum pain should motivate a trip to the doctor or dentist.

A dental abscess is another potentially serious cause for gum pain, according to eMedicineHealth. When bacteria from a cavity reaches into the bones and surrounding tissues, an abscess forms. As the tissue develops inflammation or the abscess applies pressure, pain can occur in the gum, jaw, cheek, throat and elsewhere. The pain increases until the abscess ruptures by itself or is surgically drained.

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