Do your gums hurt when you brush and floss? Is there blood in your toothpaste when you spit into the sink? This usually means one of two things—either you’re being too rough when you brush and floss, or you’re developing gum disease. To rule out other more serious problems, be sure to visit your dentist. Otherwise, explore these solutions to help prevent your gums from hurting when you brush your teeth.
When Your Gums Hurt Because of Rough Brushing and Flossing
It’s easy to brush too hard when you’re trying to be thorough. However, you can easily irritate your sensitive gum tissue if you scrub aggressively. Here’s how to clean your teeth while protecting your gums:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Brush in gentle, circular motions.
- Consider switching to an electric toothbrush.
- When flossing, follow the curve of your teeth and avoid snapping the floss against your gums or using a sawing motion.
When Your Gums Hurt Because of Gum Disease
Mild gum disease, known as gingivitis, starts when a sticky film of bacteria called plaque builds up along the gum line. Ignoring gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and, eventually, severe periodontitis. If your gums are swollen, red, irritated, and hurt when you brush, talk to your dentist about starting treatment.
Other Reasons Why Your Gums Hurt
There are many other potential causes of painful gums, including:
- Canker sores
- Tooth abscesses
- Tobacco use, including cigarettes, vaporizers, and chewing tobacco
- Hormonal changes during puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause
- Thrush, a type of yeast infection
- Ill-fitting oral devices, including braces, retainers, dentures, and mouthguards
- Chemotherapy drugs
How to Sooth Sore Gums
In addition to brushing and flossing more gently, treating gum disease, and tackling other causes of painful gums at the source, try these tips to soothe your sore gums:
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
- Rinse with mouthwash containing hydrogen peroxide.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Apply numbing gel to the tender area.
- Avoid spicy or acidic foods to avoid further irritation.
- Eat yogurt with live cultures to balance the bacteria in your mouth.
Discuss Your Symptoms with Your Dentist
If your gums hurt or bleed for over a week, and your attempts to treat the problem at home aren’t working, it’s time to contact your dentist. A professional teeth cleaning can remove the stubborn plaque irritating your gums. Your oral hygienist may also perform a deep-clean called root planing and scaling if you have gum disease.
Don’t ignore painful gums—stop by Park 56 Dental in NYC to discuss your symptoms with our dentist. We can examine your gums and teeth and recommend the proper treatment. Our office has been voted the best dentist in New York, with over 20 years of experience serving the 10022 zip code area, so you can trust us to take great care of your smile! Call us at (212) 826-2322 to set an appointment today.
Receding gums are a common oral health problem. You know your gums are receding if you have less gum tissue than you used to and your teeth look longer than normal. What you’re seeing is the exposed tooth root, which may be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Gum tissue doesn’t grow back, so it’s important to prevent gum recession before it’s too late.
- Brush your teeth gently: It’s a misconception that the more aggressively you brush, the cleaner your teeth become. Not only does vigorous brushing wear down tooth enamel, but it also irritates your gums. Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be careful about how much pressure you use when brushing each morning and night.
- Floss daily: Flossing targets the hard-to-reach places between your teeth and along the gum line. Scraping away plaque and stubborn food particles from these areas is critical to keep your gums healthy and prevent them from receding.
- Stop smoking: Tobacco use of any kind is horrible for your oral health. It leaves a sticky film in your mouth that can cause gum recession if not removed thoroughly. Stop smoking to promote gum health, prevent tooth stains, and reduce the risk of oral cancer.
- Eat a nutritious diet: Gum tissue, like the rest of your body, needs adequate vitamins and minerals for optimum health. Some of the best foods for a healthy smile include apples, carrots, leafy greens, plain yogurt, and almonds.
- Wear a mouthguard: Do you grind your teeth at night? If you’re not sure, your dentist can diagnose this condition, known as bruxism. Then, you can look into getting a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums while you sleep.
- Straighten your smile: Crooked teeth and a misaligned bite place excess pressure on your jawbone and gums, making gum recession more likely. Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten your teeth and keep your gums healthy.
- Avoid mouth piercings: Lip and tongue rings are a surefire way to irritate your gums and cause them to recede. So play it safe and stick to ear piercings to keep your mouth free of foreign objects.
- Visit the dentist: The American Dental Association recommends that most people visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. During your exam, a hygienist will remove tartar and plaque from your teeth that can irritate the gums. Your dentist will also check for signs of recession and offer personalized tips to prevent the problem from getting any worse.
If you notice receding gums or other signs of gum disease, reach out to Park 56 Dental. We’ve been voted the best dentist in NYC, so you can rest assured that our team will take great care of you. We offer effective treatments to help slow or even reverse gum disease and recession, including root planing and scaling, flap surgery, and bone and tissue grafts. To learn more, please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online today.
If you’re looking for the best dentist in NYC, look no further than Park 56 Dental Group. We’ve been voted NYC’s best dentist, and it’s no wonder. We provide personalized, quality dental care to a clientele that appreciates our comfortable, spa-like environment.
Our status as the best dentist is confirmed by our many five-star reviews. Clients say we’re “very thoughtful, caring and all around well organized”, “kind and wonderful”, “compassionate and professional”, and that our practice “makes going to the dentist a pleasure”. One customer characterized our staff by saying the “entire office was informative, compassionate and worked together like a team.” What makes us the best dentist in NYC? We think it’s a combination of several factors.
- Comprehensive Services: We provide routine dental services and so much more! Taking care of your teeth is an important part of caring for your overall health, so visiting the dentist regularly is vital. We provide oral cancer screenings for your peace of mind, and our cleanings and oral exams can save you from dental care problems and a wide range of health issues. We also offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency and sedation dentistry
- Expert Cosmetic Dentistry: Our restorative dentistry will improve your smile and boost your confidence. The services we provide include teeth whitening, contouring/tooth reshaping, bonding, bridges, veneers, dental implants, tooth colored fillings, and smile makeovers.
- Quality Care in a Comfortable Facility: We’re committed to providing your entire family with safe, gentle, high-quality dental care. We’re sensitive to your needs and want you to be comfortable while we provide you with the best care possible. Feel free to stop by our office and take a tour of our facilities.
- Patient-centered Practice: Our knowledgeable, compassionate dentists and staff excel at providing personalized care, and we’ll work together to meet your individual needs. We’ll answer any questions you may have, providing expert advice, and we’ll help if you struggle with dental anxiety. We want you to feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed at our office, and we even offer sedation dentistry for patients who request it. You can meet our team, take a walk through our office and treatment areas, and learn more about the treatments we provide.
If you want to trust your dental care to the very best dentist in NYC, call Park 56 Dental Group. We offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
Every patient reacts to the novel coronavirus differently. Some people have difficulty breathing or experience weeks of severe fatigue. Others develop a high fever or lose their sense of taste and smell. Recent evidence suggests that the infection may also impact a patient’s teeth and gums. Learn which oral health conditions have been linked to COVID-19.
Gum Disease and Inflammation
Doctors believe that COVID-19 raises cytokine and interleukin levels in the body, which leads to a generalized increase in inflammation. Painful, inflamed gums are a common side effect in patients with elevated cytokines and interleukins.
It also appears that people with gum disease are far more likely to be admitted to the ICU, require a ventilator, or pass away from COVID-19 than people without existing oral health problems. Doctors suspect this is the case because gum disease causes systemic inflammation, which only worsens when the coronavirus infection sets in.
If COVID-19 infects the salivary glands, the quality and quantity of saliva are diminished. Lack of saliva can lead to dry mouth, also known as xerostomia.
The need to wear masks during the pandemic means that even those who have not contracted COVID-19 are at a higher risk of dry mouth. Many people breathe through their mouth to increase air intake while wearing a mask, which can dry out oral tissues. Wearing a mask also makes it more difficult to drink water throughout the day, leading to dehydration and dry mouth.
Low Blood Flow to Oral Tissues
The coronavirus damages blood vessels, which can lead to oxygen deprivation throughout the body, including the mouth. This can cause sensitive gums, oral ulcerations, and tissue breakdown, all of which are exacerbated by the increased inflammation found in people with COVID-19.
Disrupted blood flow to the mouth can also cause teeth to turn gray, become loose, and fall out with no blood loss. These problems, along with other dental flare-ups, may occur months after recovering from COVID-19.
Since the pandemic started, dentists around the country have reported a tremendous increase in patients with fractured teeth, even among those who have never contracted COVID-19. The likely culprit is an increase in nighttime tooth grinding, also known as bruxism. Three pandemic-related factors could be to blame for rising cases of bruxism in the past year—stress, sleep deprivation, and poor orthopedic posture caused by makeshift at-home workstations.
Whether you have contracted COVID-19 or not, one of the best ways to protect your teeth and gums is to visit the dentist regularly. Park 56 Dental in NYC is taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our office, making it safe for anyone without symptoms to seek in-person care.
Let us help you combat oral health concerns resulting from the pandemic. We also provide routine cleanings and exams to prevent dental problems before they start. To schedule an appointment at our spa-like dentist office, please call Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online.
Diabetes affects how your body processes glucose (sugar), leading to high blood glucose levels and a host of related health problems. Diabetes can affect many areas of the body, including the eyes, kidneys, heart, and nervous system. Did you know there’s also a link between diabetes and oral health? Learn more about this connection and what you can do to promote a healthy smile.
Diabetes and Your Mouth
If left untreated, diabetes can take a toll on your oral health. Here are the potential problems you face:
- Periodontal disease: Diabetes reduces your body’s ability to fight the bacteria invading your gums, increasing the risk for periodontal disease (gum disease). This infection causes swollen, tender gums and may eventually lead to tooth loss. As with all infections, periodontal disease can cause blood sugar levels to rise. This, in turn, makes diabetes harder to control, and the vicious cycle continues.
- Tooth loss: Because advanced gum disease eventually causes your teeth to loosen and fall out, diabetes patients are more likely to face this oral health problem. In fact, one in five cases of total tooth loss is linked to diabetes.
- Cavities: Oral bacteria feed on the starches and sugars found in the food and beverages you ingest. Uncontrolled diabetes raises the glucose level of your saliva, giving bacteria more sugar on which to feed. This leads to more plaque buildup, which attacks your teeth and increases the risk of cavities.
- Dry mouth: Excessive thirst is a common symptom of high blood sugar. This is caused by the lack of saliva flow, a condition known as dry mouth. Without saliva to keep your mouth moist, your risk for cavities and periodontal disease increases.
- Thrush: This fungal infection may develop in your mouth as a result of low saliva flow and increased glucose levels.
How to Improve Oral Health if You Have Diabetes
Proper dental care is needed to prevent diabetes from damaging your teeth and gums. In addition to controlling your blood sugar levels with diet, exercise, and medication, we recommend following this dental care routine to improve your oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Floss once a day.
- Tell your dentist you have diabetes and report any symptoms you notice, such as dry mouth, loose teeth, or infections.
- Watch for early signs of gum disease, including redness, swelling, and bleeding gums.
- If you wear dentures, Invisalign, a retainer, or a mouth guard, brush this oral appliance daily.
- Avoid smoking. Tobacco use only worsens gum disease and other oral health problems.
- Visit the dentist at least twice a year to manage the oral health risks of diabetes.
At Park 56 Dental, we can help you prevent cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and other oral health problems with routine teeth cleaning. We also offer restoration services to help you smile with confidence once more. To schedule an appointment with our NYC dentist, please contact us online or call (212) 826-2322.
Do you or a loved one smoke cigarettes? If you’re looking for one more reason to quit, consider that tobacco use in any form raises your risk for oral health problems. Here are the issues associated with smoking cigarettes, cigars, and pipes or using smokeless tobacco:
- Gum disease: Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is an infection that causes red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. Smoking increases your risk of gum disease by weakening your immune system, which makes your body less capable of fighting off infection. In fact, smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to contract gum disease. The greater your tobacco use, the higher your risk.
- Tooth loss: As gum disease progresses, it eventually affects the underlying bone structure that anchors your teeth to your jaw. If the bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place break down, your teeth may loosen and need to be extracted.
- Plaque and tartar buildup: The chemicals in tobacco products decrease saliva flow, making it easier for bacteria to cling to your teeth and gums. If not removed daily with diligent brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into tartar, a cavity-causing, tooth-staining substance that can only be removed with professional cleaning.
- Cancer: Besides lung cancer, smoking can also cause cancer of the lips, mouth, throat, tonsils, and esophagus. The risk is six times higher among smokers. In fact, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with these oral cancers are tobacco users.
- Delayed healing: The reduced immune function caused by smoking impairs blood flow to the gums, making it harder for your mouth to heal following a tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery.
- Tooth discoloration: Stained, yellow teeth are a hallmark of smoking. Whitening products can sometimes counteract the effects temporarily, but the stains quickly return.
- Bad breath: Smoking leaves a stale film on your teeth and gums, resulting in “smoker’s breath.” You may be able to mask the odor with a mint for a short time, but the smell will return before long.
- Inflammation: Smoking triggers an immune response that increases the level of inflammatory markers in the bloodstream. This may increase inflammation throughout the body, including at the salivary gland openings and on the roof of your mouth.
- Darkened gums: Smoker’s melanosis, or a darkening of the gum tissue, is one response to irritating tobacco smoke. Up to 22 percent of cigarette and pipe smokers develop this oral change. There is no treatment, but the gums typically return to normal within six to 36 months of quitting.
Clearly, if you want to improve your oral health, kicking the tobacco habit is a great place to start. Your dentist can recommend useful products to help you quit, such as nicotine gum and patches. You can also pursue treatments to reverse the damage caused by smoking. For more useful tips, or to schedule an appointment with our NYC dentist, please contact Park 56 Dental online or call us at (212) 826-2322.
The technical name for gum disease is periodontitis or periodontal disease. This is a common infection that, according to a recent CDC report, affects nearly half of all American adults age 30 and older.
The mildest form of this disease is called gingivitis. Early symptoms include tender and swollen gums, gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, and a receding gum line. If left untreated, periodontal disease can become painful, lead to pussy discharge, and even result in tooth loss. Advanced gum disease can also increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other health problems.
Protect yourself from gum disease and the associated side effects by following these preventative tips.
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Make this a habit every morning and evening, no matter how busy or tired you are. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Choose a soft toothbrush, and brush thoroughly but gently to avoid irritating your gums. Brush for two full minutes, and hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line so it sweeps away the bacteria hiding there.
- Floss every day. When it comes to preventing gum disease, flossing is arguably more important than brushing because it stimulates the gums and removes debris from between your teeth. The American Dental Association says it doesn’t matter when you floss—do it in the morning, at night, or after lunch—just do it!
- Swish with a medicated mouthwash. All mouthwash products offer some benefits, but some promote gum health better than others. Shop for a version that reduces plaque buildup, slows tartar formation, fights gingivitis, or all three! Remember, mouthwash complements brushing and flossing—it doesn’t replace it.
- Consider and address your risks. Some people are more likely than others to get gum disease. Risk factors include advancing age, genetics, AIDS, cancer, and hormonal changes in females. While many risk factors are out of your control, others can be addressed. For instance, you can reduce your risk if you quit smoking and control associated health conditions, such as diabetes.
- Get your teeth cleaned regularly. Gum disease develops rather quickly, and the earlier you begin treatment, the better. Therefore, children and adults of all ages should schedule a dental exam and professional cleaning every six months or as recommended by their dentist. If you already have gum disease, you may need more frequent visits to maintain your gums and prevent them from getting any worse.
At Park 56 Dental, our team of qualified dental professionals can help your smile stay healthy and beautiful. We encourage you to visit us twice a year for preventative care. Then, if you notice signs of gum disease or other oral health problems, reach out to us right away. We’ll help you slow or even reverse gum disease with effective treatments such as root planing and scaling, flap surgery, and bone and tissue grafts. Contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to learn more.
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