Top 5 Causes of Gum Sensitivity
Often, people do not give their gums the attention that they need to keep them healthy. When people think about dental hygiene, what generally comes to mind is keeping the teeth healthy and strong, keeping bad breath at bay, and basically maintaining their pearly whites for that perfect smile. In the process of putting too much focus on the teeth, the gums are neglected, and this leads to several gum problems; from gum sensitivity to gum sores, and if left neglected for too long, gum disease.
Here are the top five causes of gum sensitivity:
1. Brushing and flossing too hard
When it comes to brushing, people often think that putting force on the strokes or vigorous brushing equates to proper cleaning. It doesn’t. All it does is make your arms hurt and harm your gums. Flossing too hard is a common habit, too. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush gently; floss gently, too. Don’t force the floss between your teeth and instead, slide it gently back and forth until it gets between your teeth; and then gently slide it up and down.
Acidic foods and drinks can irritate the gums and harm your teeth. Acid may increase bacteria in the mouth, as these generally thrive in an acidic environment. This may cause gum sensitivity, gum sores, and inflammation. Moreover, acidic foods and drinks may cause the tooth’s enamel, the tooth’s outer protective covering, to erode which can lead to tooth sensitivity, cracks/chips, discoloration, or pain.
3. Poor dental hygiene
Poor dental hygiene can lead to bacteria and, as mentioned above, can cause gum sensitivity. There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. In the mouth, bad bacteria thrive on sugars, starches and acids; which could then produce acids that cause erosion of the enamel and gum sensitivity. Proper and regular brushing and flossing as well as gargling can help remove these acids, starches and sugars. Bad bacteria may also cause gum disease (red, swollen or bleeding gums).
4. Changes in hormone levels
Gum sensitivity brought on by changes in hormone levels often affects women more than men. Apart from puberty, hormonal changes can occur during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause. These changes may increase blood flow to the gums, which could then cause red or swollen gums, or even bleeding gums.
Smoking can cause many dental problems, from stained teeth to sensitive gums, bad breath, tooth decay, and mouth cancer. In relation to gums, bacterial plaque caused by smoking could lead to gum disease. Additionally, if you’ve already developed gum disease, you should note that it could progress a lot quicker because of smoking.
Schedule an appointment today at Audubon Dental Center if you have gum sensitivity or gum disease or if you have other dental concerns. Please feel free to call (301) 856-1122 at your convenience.