Sensitive Gums

Written by Christa Gatewood
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If your gums are sore after brushing, or if you experience discomfort after consuming very hot or very cold food or drink, then you probably have sensitive gums and teeth. Sensitive gums can cause a lot of frustration and annoyance. Sometimes they can be so sensitive that they are painful even when breathing in cool air.

Sensitive gums may be a sign of gum disease. In the beginning stages of gum disease, or gingivitis, there are typically no signs of discomfort. If you are experiencing the pain of sensitive gums, your gum disease may have advanced to periodontitis. With periodontitis, bacteria in plaque infect the gum tissue. Over time the tissue begins to pull away from the teeth or recede. If gum tissue recedes enough, it may expose the root of the tooth. The nerve of the tooth is located in the root, and if the nerve is exposed to hot, cold, or trauma, it will be painful.

Treating Sensitive Gums

The treatment for sensitive gums can come in two forms. Immediate relief to gum sensitivity can come from brushing with special toothpaste formulated specifically for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes will desensitize the tooth nerve so that it causes no more pain. There are a number of different sensitive teeth toothpastes, and your dentist can recommend which one will be best for you.

Another treatment for sensitive teeth and gums is treating the periodontitis. With proper treatment, the gums can be coaxed into reattaching to the teeth. If the gum recession is cured, the nerve in the root of the tooth will no longer be exposed.

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