Are Your Sensitive Gums Implying Gum Disease?


Eating, talking, brushing, and flossing: these are everyday things that sensitive gums could make painful or even unbearable. There could be several reasons why your gums are sensitive, but it’s important to get them looked at because it could be a sign of a more serious health problem. Gum disease can include: 

  • Redness and swelling
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding 

Don’t let your gums hold you back, let’s take a look at why you could be suffering from sore or sensitive gums and what you can do to treat them. 

What Are Our Gums? 

Our gums are connective tissue covered with mucous membrane attached to the necks of the teeth and adjacent alveolar bone, according to Britannica. Before you develop teeth, gum pads form. Gum pads are slight elevations of the overlying oral mucus membrane. When the tooth pops out of the gums, the gum is then connected to the cement of each tooth and to the tooth enamel. 

What Do Healthy Gums Look Like?

Healthy gums are firm and pink in color and shouldn’t be inflamed or painful, nor should they bleed when you brush your teeth. Gums that are healthy are stippled and tough, and are able to sustain limited sensitivity to pain. In addition, healthy gums follow the curved shape of your teeth.

What Are Signs of Unhealthy Gums?

Unhealthy gums can be painful and make everyday tasks like eating and talking hard. Gums that are fighting against gum disease can have a number of characteristics, including:

  • Unhealthy gums tend to be painful, red, and swollen
  • They tend to bleed after brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums receding back
  • Yellowish color at gum line
  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Painful eating  

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums in your mouth. In most cases, gum diseases is caused by poor dental hygiene habits. When plaque, a sticky bacteria, builds up on the teeth and hardens, it can cause gum disease. If you allow gum disease to advance, it eventually can lead to the symptoms mentioned above like sore and bleeding gums. 

What Causes Gum Disease?

The National Institute of Health suggests that poor brushing and flossing habits can cause gum disease, along with other risk factors like smoking, hormonal changes, diabetes, and certain medications. 

Our mouths are full of bacteria along with mucus and other particle, which constantly causes plaque on the teeth. People can usually remove plaque by brushing and flossing regularly, but if it’s not removed it turns into tartar that at-home brushing can’t remove. 

Nearly 50% of adults have some stage of gum disease. Of those adults, 30% have moderate gum disease. 

Gingivitis is a mild stage of gum disease that is typically easy to reverse with proper oral hygiene care. Gingivitis can be painless, which means it’s important to go to your regular dental appointments. If not caught, it could advance and lead to painful tooth loss. 

How is it Diagnosed?

Your dentist can look for gum disease. When you go in for a dental visit, the dentist will learn more about your medical history to assess your risk for gum infection. Then, your dentist will look at your gums for inflammation. They will also use a probe to check for pockets around the teeth. In healthy gums, the depth of the pockets ranges from 1-3 millimeters, anything outside of that range could suggest gum disease. At your appointment, they might also take an x-ray to look for bone loss. 

How to Treat Gum Disease

To treat unhealthy gums you want to target and control the infection. The types of treatments vary from patient to patient. The first line of defense is usually a deep cleaning treatment for gum infection. Unlike normal cleanings, the dentist will use special instruments to scrape off tartar above and blow the gum line. Another option is root planing, which is where they will smooth out the rough surfaces of your teeth’s roots. 

To stay on top of unhealthy gums it’s important to practice excellent at-home oral hygiene. This can help prevent the infection from advancing and can help keep your mouth comfortable. 

Get Healthy Gums 

If you’ve noticed a change in the color of your gums, painful brushing, bleeding, or any of the other symptoms we’ve mentioned above, you should make an appointment with Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies to look over your symptoms. They should never be red or swollen. If you’ve noticed changes in your gum health, call us for an appointment: (970)-223-8425.