As a Mt. Holly dentist, we strongly support the American Dental Association’s recommendation to floss daily. As an integral aspect to dental care to prevent gum disease, flossing removes plaque and tarter accumulations that cannot be reached with a toothbrush. While flossing is highly effective, many tend to experience some discomfort. When tooth or gum pain occurs, you may tend to avoid flossing. However, finding the underlying cause of the discomfort will allow you to floss properly to protect your smile.
Understanding Pain After Flossing
When done correctly, flossing should not cause any pain or discomfort to the teeth or gums. However, there are certain instances, such as flossing too aggressively or the presence of gum disease, that can result in sore and bleeding gums or tooth sensitivity.
Inconsistent Flossing Habits
Flossing is vital for removing plaque, tarter, and food particles that cannot be reached with a toothbrush, which is why daily flossing is recommended. However, the American Dental Association reports only four out of ten people floss daily. Inconsistent flossing habits will cause a buildup of plaque, which will become a hard substance, known as tarter. Trying to remove this hard accumulation will cause the gums to become irritated. But, if the buildup is not removed, it will result in gum disease.
Often, bleeding and sore gums after flossing could be as simple as floss tooth hard or aggressively. When you extend or push the floss too hard into the gum tissue, the tissue will become irritated and traumatized. Not to mention, flossing too hard for too long can cause the teeth to become sore. The key is to gently insert the floss between two teeth and slowly slide the floss up and down the tooth.
If you are flossing consistently and properly but still have painful gums, you may have periodontal disease. Gum disease is an infection in the gums that needs treatment. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when brushing and flossing, as well as tenderness, swelling, and irritation.
If the teeth become sensitive after flossing, it could indicate tooth decay. When a cavity is present, sensitivity will also occur when the tooth is exposed to temperature changes, pressure, sweets and acids, and even cold air.
Stop the Pain when Flossing
If you experience tooth and gum pain when flossing, do not stop flossing your teeth. Continue to gently floss each day but schedule an appointment with our office. We will find the underlying cause of your pain to make your oral hygiene more comfortable. In some cases, you may just need a professional cleaning. However, if we find a more serious cause, such as gum disease, we will provide the prompt treatment you need. In addition, we may recommend different flossing tools to use, such as water flossers, to make the task easier.
With the right treatment and oral habits, you can brush and floss comfortably for a beautiful smile. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to stop the pain.