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My Gums Hurt on One Side

Painful gums is one of the most common complaints that we hear in our office. Any change in your gums, especially pain is something that needs to be checked by your dentist. You wouldn’t ignore a persistent pain in any other part of your body; why would you ignore it in your gums?

In some cases, if your gums hurt on one side, it can be caused by inflammation that occurs when you’re not using proper technique when brushing and flossing. This is a very common issue. Usually, ensuring that you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and brushing twice per day and flossing once per day is enough to correct the problem. Sometimes, it may also be necessary to use a warm salt water rinse twice per day. This helps to correct the overgrowth of bacteria that causes the gums to become inflamed.

However, if these measures do not correct the problem, it’s time to schedule an appointment with our dentist. You may have injuries on your gums, or canker sores. Canker sores can form as the result of tissue injury. Certain fruits and vegetables, particularly highly acidic ones such as oranges and lemons, can trigger canker sores. In some cases, this condition can also be triggers by a nutritional deficiency, celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease. Symptoms of canker sores include:

  • A tingling or burning sensation in the gums
  • Painful sores in the mouth that appear to be round, white or gray, and have a red edge
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Feeling sluggish

Of course, gum disease is another common cause of sore gums, though this usually causes pain throughout the mouth and not only on one side. Gum disease can occur in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a fairly mild form of gum disease, and treatment is usually quite simple. In periodontitis, the gums have begun to pull away from the teeth, forming deep pockets that can easily become infected. The pain is a result of your body’s natural immune response to the infection. As your immune system begins to kill the bacteria, it also breaks down the gum tissue, bone, and connective tissue holding your teeth in place. Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Swollen and red gums
  • Gums that are very tender or bleed
  • Pain when you chew
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gums

If you have persistent pain in your gums that is not helped by the home care measures listed above, call our office today. We look forward to treating your teeth and gums and ensuring that you have a healthy, bright smile once more.


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