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,
- 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).
Other causes of painful gums
- Bacterial Infection
- Dental or Orthodontic Procedures
- Excessively Hard Toothbrushing
- Poorly Fitting Dentures
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Tooth Loss
- Trauma to the Mouth and/or Gums
- Trench Mouth
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Causes of Painful Gums
Canker sores are a common complaint, and are small ulcers on the inside of the mouth. Canker sores aren't contagious (as opposed to cold sores), and typically last for 10-14 days usually healing without scarring. A variety of things cause canker sores, for example, medications (aspirin, beta-blockers, NSAIDs, high blood pressure medication, and antibiotics); injury to the mouth from dental work, braces, or sports accidents; acidic foods; allergies; and diseases or conditions like celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and lupus. Canker sores can be cure with home remedies, and prescription and OTC topical and oral medication.
Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
Gum disease is caused by plaque and may result in tooth loss without proper treatment. Read about symptoms, stages, treatment, and home remedies.
Gum problems may be caused by improper brushing and flossing, gum disease, canker sores, treatments and hormonal changes. Symptoms of gum problems include red, swollen, sore and bleeding gums. These symptoms can be prevented by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, eating a well-balanced diet, drinking enough water, not smoking, and relaxing.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection left untreated causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called a retrovirus, which can infect humans when it comes in contact with tissues that line the vagina, anal area, mouth, or eyes, or through a break in the skin. HIV infection is generally a slowly progressive disease in which the virus is present throughout the body at all stages of the disease. Three stages of HIV infection have been described. The initial stage of infection (primary infection), which occurs within weeks of acquiring the virus, often is characterized by the flu- or mono-like illness that generally resolves within weeks. The stage of chronic asymptomatic infection (meaning a long duration of infection without symptoms) lasts an average of eight to 10 years without treatment. The stage of symptomatic infection, in which the body's immune (or defense) system has been suppressed and complications have developed, is called the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The symptoms are caused by the complications of AIDS, which include one or more unusual infections or cancers, severe loss of weight, and intellectual deterioration (called dementia). When HIV grows (that is, by reproducing itself), it acquires the ability to change (mutate) its own structure. These mutations enable the virus to become resistant to previously effective drug therapy. The goals of drug therapy are to prevent damage to the immune system by the HIV virus and to halt or delay the progress of the infection to symptomatic disease. Therapy for HIV includes combinations of drugs that decrease the growth of the virus to such an extent that the treatment prevents or markedly delays the development of viral resistance to the drugs. The best combination of drugs for HIV are those that effectively suppress viral replication in the blood and also are well tolerated and simple to take so that people can take the medications consistently without missing doses.
Is Gingivitis Contagious?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Poor dental hygiene, stress, smoking, some medications, and a poor diet can cause gingivitis. Gingivitis-causing bacteria can be passed from one individual to another.
Pericoronitis is inflammation of the gum tissue around the molars that often occurs in young people when the wisdom teeth erupt. Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatment.
A toothache is pain on or around a tooth. It may have a variety of causes, including a cavity, abscess, or even sinusitis. Toothache symptoms include pain, headache, earache, bad taste in the mouth, and gum swelling. Dental X-rays and other tests performed by a dentist are used to diagnose the cause of a toothache. Toothache treatment depends on the underlying cause. Taking proper care of the teeth and gums can help prevent toothache.
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