5 Possible Reasons for Painful Gums

When your gums are painful, it can be hard to concentrate on anything else. We get asked many times about the oral health, and specifically about bleeding gums and gum pain.

Here are the 5 reasons to the most common oral health condition: gum pain!

5 reasons to the question: Why Do I Have Painful Gums?

When your teeth and gums hurt, or even if you have bleeding gums, it can affect every aspect of life. It makes you feel miserable and can pose serious health risks depending on the cause.

Keep reading to learn the 5 reasons of why you have bleeding gums, and learn other signs of gum disease symptoms, so you know what to expect when you go see a dentist.

1. Periodontal Bacteria

Periodontal bacteria hide in plaque and tartar, causing gum inflammation and leading to gingivitis, and if left untreated, may progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis (periodontal disease) is the most common cause of painful gums, and it can eventually destroy the structures that hold your teeth in place if left untreated.

According to the CDC, 50% of the American population suffers from periodontal disease. If you fall into the unfortunate half, then you may want to pay closer attention to your oral health.

Gingivitis, which is an early sign of gum disease, is the primary cause of painful and bleeding gums. You might see red or swollen gums that bleed easily and are tender to the touch. If you have these symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment immediately as they could progress into a more serious condition called periodontitis.

If you don’t treat gingivitis (early gum disease), it worsens and becomes periodontitis (late gum disease with early bone loss). Left unchecked, periodontitis will lead to tooth loss as the gums recede. Additionally, research has shown that there is a link between heart disease and periodontitis.

You can easily prevent gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene and good eating habits. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and visiting your dentist at least once every 6 months, will help you prevent further damage to your gums!

2. Poor Diet

Your diet can have an impact on your gum health, with your sensitivities being a result of the foods you consume.

For example, sugary items clinging to teeth and gums leads to your mouth producing acids that wear down these surfaces, resulting in discomfort and swelling. Canker sores are a common gum issue caused by acidic or spicy foods that irritate your gums.

Eating more fruits and vegetables, which are naturally alkaline, can help alleviate this discomfort. Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits are also great for maintaining proper oral hygiene. Be sure to rinse your mouth well after consuming them.


Commonly, people only associate gastroesophageal reflux with chest pain. It can also harm your teeth and gums, though.

The digestive acids may travel into the mouth occasionally. These same acids that help break down proteins and other nutrients in your body can damage sensitive gum tissue very easily. Consequently, this causes sores to form on your gums.

To treat your GERD and burning gums, speak with your doctor about taking antacids or making dietary changes. Reducing stress through activities such as yoga or meditation may also help to decrease acid production in the body.

4. Toothpaste

When you brush your teeth regularly, gum pain may confuse you. But your toothpaste might actually be the cause of your pain.

While whitening toothpaste is great for making your smile shiny and bright, it often contains peroxide, which can kill off helpful bacteria and lead to gum sensitivity. Tarter control paste that contains pyrophosphate and hexylresorcinol can also cause irritation, sloughing, and small sores on the gums. Luckily, in these instances simply switching to a different toothpaste will offer relief from sore gums.

5. Stress

We’ve established that stress causes GERD by stimulating acid production. But did you know that it can also cause sore gums? This is due to the increased cortisol levels brought on my stress, which then leads to inflammation in different areas of the body – one of them being the gums. To try and prevent this, make sure to manage your time well, stay active, and take moments for yourself when needed.

Take Gum Health Seriously

It’s crucial that you don’t ignore mouth pain, as it can turn into tooth decay and other health issues. If you’re wondering why are my gums bleeding?, give us a call. We care about your oral health. Please contact us to make an appointment at Sbenati Dentistry in London Ontario!