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Why Do My Gums Hurt?

Amelia Grant

August 29, 2019

It happens due to laziness or illiteracy and we are usually in no hurry to solve them. The most that we are capable of is to buy a herbal mouth rinse, change the toothpaste and wait for relief. But the situation quickly becomes aggravated because almost all gum diseases require complex treatment at the dentist's office. Why do gums hurt and why they need to be treated in time? Let’s find out.

Causes of gum pain

Pain is a sign of inflammation in the gums, teeth, or jawbones. The reasons for inflammation and pain can be different. 

The most common causes of gum pain include:

  • injuries due to improper dental crown placement (prosthesis) 
  • inflammatory diseases of the gums and teeth (gingivitis, periodontitis, cysts, and fistulas)
  • teething
  • the consequence of tooth extraction or fillings
  • bad habits (such as smoking)
  • chronic diseases
  • improperly selected toothbrush (hard bristles cause micro damages on the sensitive mucous membrane and cause unpleasant symptoms)

Pain in inflammatory periodontal diseases

Pain in the gums may indicate the development of serious periodontal tissue diseases. If you notice one of the problems described below, follow our recommendations for relieving pain and seek qualified medical help as soon as possible.


The initial stage of the inflammatory process with gingivitis occurs when the infection affects the upper gum tissue. The disease develops gradually due to insufficient oral hygiene. Soft plaque accumulates on the teeth, which creates an ideal environment for the propagation of pathogenic bacteria.

Symptoms: gingivitis is characterized by redness of the gingival margin, burning, bleeding gums and halitosis.

What to do: it is recommended to rinse the oral cavity with saline and soda solution, decoctions of oak bark, propolis, and medicinal herbs to relieve gum inflammation. With gingivitis, you can also stop the pain using dental gels.

How can a dentist help: sometimes gingivitis can be caused by a lack of certain vitamins in the body or hormonal imbalance. In this case, only a specialist can establish the reasons why the gums hurt. Since the main cause of gingivitis is plaque, visiting a doctor will help get rid of it and protect against serious complications. If the disease has acquired a dangerous stage, a gingivectomy procedure may be performed.


Periodontitis is a serious dental disease, which affects the ligamentous apparatus and jaw bone structure. A hard coating or tartar begins to form due to malocclusion. That causes inflammation of the mucous membrane and the further spread of the infection.

Symptoms: periodontitis is accompanied by exposure of the tooth root, purulent discharge from the periodontal pockets, loosening of teeth, itching pain in the gums and bleeding. 

What to do: you can relieve pain with anti-inflammatory dental gels and rinses. Remember that self-medication during periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

How a dentist can help: the doctor will evaluate the stage of periodontitis, conduct professional oral hygiene to remove tartar and eliminate foci of infection. In difficult cases, surgical reduction of the size of periodontal pockets can be performed.

Periodontitis’ complications (cyst and fistula)

Complications of periodontitis are mainly represented by inflammation of the tooth root and surrounding bone. It also occurs as a complication of caries and can lead to inflammation, swelling, and pain in the gums.

Symptoms: a mandatory symptom of peritonitis is a cutting pain when pressing on the tooth. Neglected periodontitis can lead to the formation of purulent fistulas on the gum above the affected tooth.

What to do: take an anti-inflammatory or antipyretic and visit the doctor as soon as possible.

How a dentist can help: treatment of periodontitis’ complications consists of cleaning, drug treatment and filling of dental canals.


Healthcare & Nutrition