Painful Gums: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Painful, sore, red gums can be signs and symptoms of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) or, more likely, periodontitis (inflammation of the attachment fibers of the teeth and supporting bone), which can arise due to a number of different causes, including poor oral hygiene with improper brushing or flossing. Inflammation of the gums may manifest as

  • painful gums,
  • sensitivity,
  • redness,
  • swelling, and
  • bleeding of the gums either after brushing or when otherwise irritated.

Gum disease can ultimately lead to receding gums and even damage to the bones of the jaw. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase the sensitivity of the gums, which may in some cases lead to soreness or pain. Painful gums can also arise due to localized sores on the gums, such as abscesses or aphthous ulcers (canker sores).

Related Symptoms & Signs

REFERENCE:

Stephen, James M. "Gingivitis." Medscape.com. Aug. 3, 2016. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/763801-overview>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2016
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