When your gums feel sore, it can be hard to concentrate on anything else. That type of pain isn’t easy to ignore. And ignore you shouldn’t for it could be a sign of something more serious.
Sore gums can be caused by many things. Most commonly, it’s due to gum disease which close to half of all Americans ages 30 and older have. But it can also be caused by hormonal changes, an abscessed tooth, tobacco use, canker sores, or in the worst cases, oral cancer.
You’d probably go running to the dentist over tooth pain, but how about sore gums? Sometimes, it’s nothing to worry about. Other times, it’s a sign of something more severe. The only way to know for sure is to make an appointment with your dentist.
If the soreness is your only symptom, you don’t need to rush. However, if the pain is ongoing or you have other symptoms along with it, you’d better hurry up and get that appointment scheduled fast.
When Should You Worry About Sore Gums?
If it’s a one-off, chances are all is fine. But should the pain continue day after day or with the following symptoms, you should get treated by your dentist as soon as you can:
- Really red, swollen gums
- Bleeding from the gums (even when not brushing or flossing)
- Gums that recede from your teeth
- Painful chewing
- Sensitivities to hot or cold food and beverages
If you wear dentures and they don’t fit right anymore, you should be sure to make that appointment immediately. You’ll feel so much better when you do!
Relieving Sore Gums
Until you get to the dentist, if you only have gum pain and no other symptoms, you can do a few things at home to get some relief. A saltwater rinse is always a good idea. Heat one cup of water so that it’s just warmed up and not boiling, then mix in a teaspoon of salt. Use this to rinse in your mouth much like a mouthwash several times per day.
While salt is great for getting rid of bacteria that can cause problems for the gums, tea might be right up your alley, especially if the gum soreness is concentrated in one area. Steep a new tea bag in boiling water for five minutes, then allow it to cool. Once cooled, put it directly onto your sore gums and leave it be for five minutes. The best teas for this method are ones that have a load of astringent tannins. Green tea and black tea are a prime choice. You can also use anti-inflammatory herbal teas like ginger or chamomile.
Compresses - either hot or cold - can also help alleviate pain, though you may prefer taking OTC pain meds like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. Topical oral anesthetic gels can quickly numb the pain too. However, if the pain persists for more than a week or two, don’t shrug it off. Getting to the dentist for treatment can save you from the pain and from worse dental problems down the road.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.