A number of issues can cause red, painful gums, including brushing or flossing too hard and gum disease, explains WebMD. Gum disease typically starts off as gingivitis and affects about three-fourths of all Americans over 35 years old.
Many people are tempted to brush their teeth with vigor in order to get them extra clean, claims WebMD, but brushing too hard may cause the gums to ache or bleed due to the delicate nature of the tissue. The same can be said about flossing too hard. Dentists recommend that patients try to floss as gently as possible in order to avoid pain and bleeding.
Gum disease occurs when people fail to practice proper dental hygiene, according to WebMD. This typically begins as gingivitis, a milder form of the condition that can turn into periodontitis if left untreated. Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that can lead to the loss of teeth. Some of the symptoms associated with gum disease include the formation of pockets between the teeth, bleeding gums when brushing, and teeth that become loose or shift. Other symptoms of gum disease are receding gums, inflammation of the gums, and bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.