Why Are My Gums Sore?

posted in: Gum Health | 0

Red, swollen, and painful gums? If you go through a cycle where your gums become uncomfortable and even bleed, it may be caused by self-inflicted reasons you can correct or other problems that need treatment. Let’s explore the causes of sore gums.

woman holding side of her mouth from gum pain

Stick With The Lighter Touch

Some people think if they use a hard brush and scrub their teeth, their smile will be brighter and their teeth will be cleaner. You can actually damage your gums by brushing too hard. Most dental professionals recommend using a soft bristle brush and gently brushing your teeth and gums without using force.

Your teeth will be clean and your gums will not be damaged by irritation.

Periodontal Disease

This is the result of NOT brushing and flossing correctly or often enough. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that causes red and bleeding gums. It is important to catch and reverse gingivitis as quickly as possible or it can turn into periodontitis. This is nothing to ignore as it can cause tooth loss.

See Dr. Robinette, carefully brush and floss several times a day, and use a mouthwash to abate the symptoms.


Not only can smoking lead to cancer, it irritates gums. Eliminate smoking cigarettes, pipes, and using smokeless devices. Chewing tobacco and snuff are even worse substitutes.


A rise in estrogen can cause red and swollen gums. Some women can have an issue right before their menstrual cycle and it improves once they have their period.

Hormones can also affect gums:

  • During puberty
  • During pregnancy, especially in the second or third month continuing into the eighth month
  • During menopause
  • When using birth control products

When Having Chemotherapy

Sores and painful gums can accompany other symptoms when having chemo for cancer. Painful sores and ulcers develop on the gums and in the mouth which is known as stomatitis. Bleeding gums are common too.

Canker Sores

Commonly referred to as mouth ulcers, these sores can cause symptoms of irritated and uncomfortable gums. They are not contagious, and it is believed they come from viral or bacterial infections. Those with an auto-immune disease are more at risk to develop mouth ulcers.

Tooth Abscess

This is a bacterial infection at the root of a tooth which causes an abscess on the gums. This pus-filled sac can spread to other parts of the body, so it should be treated as soon as possible by Dr. Robinette.

Don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Robinette at 828-267-0651 if you develop any of the symptoms of bleeding or irritated gums. Located in Hickory, NC, we are happy to help.