smile dental logo

Why Do My Gums Hurt? Reasons, Complications, Solutions

Excerpt: Have you ever had a pain in your gums that just wouldn't go away...
Table of Contents

Gum Health Quick Tips

  • Gingivitis can be reversed without any long-lasting effects.
  • Periodontitis cannot be reversed.

Have you ever had a pain in your gums that just wouldn’t go away? It could be a simple toothache or something more serious like an abscess. Whatever the case may be, you need to get it checked out as soon as possible. Here are some of the most common reasons why your gums might hurt, and what you can do to treat them.

Do Your Gums Hurt? This Is Probably Why

If you are experiencing pain in your gums, there is a good chance that you are dealing with an oral health issue. There are many reasons why your gums might hurt, and each one has its own set of complications and solutions. Here are some of the most common causes of gum pain:


Which is an inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria. It is the most common type of gum disease, and it can be hard to treat because it can spread to other parts of your mouth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to tooth loss.

Periodontal disease

This condition is caused when plaque build-up on the teeth and surrounding gum tissue. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and even complete tooth loss. To prevent periodontal disease, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly.

Lichen planus

This condition is characterized by raised, red patches on the skin that are usually associated with pain and tenderness. Lichen planus is a form of dermatitis, which is an inflammation of the skin.

Foreign Objects

Have you ever woken up only to find an area of your gums swollen and painful? It could be because a piece of food has gotten lodged between your teeth. Your gums will swell up to try to push the object out and defend themselves. If it’s not too painful, you can take a dental pick and gently poke around the swollen area to see if there are any particles causing the inflammation. If you are able to remove the object in question, you should notice your symptoms go away by the end of the day or the next day. 

Why Do My Gums Hurt? Reasons, Complications, Solutions - 1 - Smiles Dental Group

What Do I Do If My Gums Hurt?

Your gums generally are pretty sensitive to foreign objects and potential infection. There is a good reason for this if the symptoms start showing in your gums, it is usually early enough to stop and reverse the damage. Assuming of course, that you are paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you.

Here are a few things you can do to reverse early symptoms:

Better Oral Care More Often

You probably think you’re doing a good job at brushing your teeth, we’re here to let you know that you can most likely do better. If you notice early signs of gingivitis you need to increase the frequency of oral care and stay consistent

Your routine should include:

  • Brushing for up to 2 minutes
  • Flossing in between every tooth
  • Swishing mouthwash.
You also might think that your staying consistent but are you? How many times have you gotten home late from hanging out with friends and went straight to bed? Or if you wake up late and have to rush off to work, you might not brush in the morning. We often trick ourselves into thinking this won’t make a big impact, but it will!

Better Lifestyle Choices

We know that you’re doing all you can to get the most out of your life, and it’s ok to slack off and party every now and again, but don’t let it become a habit. The negative choices might feel good right now, but they almost always hurt you in the long run, here are a few things you should try to moderate:

  • Binge eating – Often loaded with processed foods or carb-heavy foods. “Binge-worthy” foods are rarely ever healthy for your teeth.
  • Drinking – A few drinks a week is fine, but over-drinking and partying hard weekly isn’t sustainable. If you find you can’t hold your liquor very well, you should be aware that vomiting often can promote decay.
  • Healthy foods – Do you eat out a lot? Fast food and restaurants often add more sugar and unhealthy things to their food because it makes it taste better. Cooking basic food at home can increase your oral health.
  • Drugs & tobacco use – Any type of smoke inhalation (tobacco or marijuana) can cause oral damage. Tobacco products in general have all been proven to damage your health in general. As marijuana becomes more widely available you should know that it can damage your oral and general health!
Why Do My Gums Hurt? Reasons, Complications, Solutions - 3 - Smiles Dental Group

Keep Up With Your Dental Appointments

Your gum health is vitally important for a number of reasons, and if you do have symptoms, you should never ignore what your body is trying to tell you. If your symptoms seem to be severe: lots of pain, bleeding, or inflammation, please make a dental appointment immediately. If you allow the gum disease to progress past gingivitis into periodontitis, it will be irreversible and can be very costly to deal with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gingivitis has a wide range of symptoms. If you’re noticing some puffiness and bleeding it’s probably ok to reverse it at home. But if it’s troubling to you, then you should see a dentist! If you notice symptoms lasting for a week or two, definitely see a dentist.

Probably not, periodontists are usually there for serious long-term gum disease and damage. A dentist can usually handle many different stages of gum disease.

Tell Your Friends

Book Your Appointment

Step 1 of 3