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Lingering Pain After Flossing | What Causes it and How To Prevent It

Do your teeth hurt after flossing? Can taking care of your teeth result in more pain?

It's quite challenging to floss daily, as recommended by dentists. Experiencing after flossing only makes things worse.

Does that mean you should do away with the practice? No. The best thing would be to find the reason behind the pain after flossing and address it.

If you want to improve your overall oral health by dealing with gum disease and tooth decay, trust Dr. Brite's products. Dr. Brite uses doctor-made formulas, clean ingredients, and transparency to ensure you get solutions to your oral health issues.

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So, why do you experience gum or tooth pain after flossing, and how can you deal with it?

Why Do My Gum and Teeth Hurt After Flossing?

Flossing involves putting a sharp rope between your teeth and cutting away potential bacteria-building spots. However, you're not supposed to experience pain during or after the practice. If you have teeth sensitivity or discomfort after the process, it could be due to one of the following reasons.

a woman holding dental floss

You're New to the Technique

Your teeth can ache after the oral hygiene routine if you use the wrong flossing technique. You need to learn how to floss properly to achieve the best results.

If you're new to the technique, it may be possible you're using the wrong tools, or you floss too roughly. Not flossing regularly and repeatedly starting the practice can also cause gum irritation.

It'll help a lot if you are gentle during dental floss.

If you work on your improper flossing technique and the pain persists, consult your dental specialist. It could be you have a more complicated issue. Your dentist should also help you with how to floss properly.

Gum Disease

If you have pain after flossing, you probably wish it away. However, it can be a symptom of other issues, such as gum disease, also known as gingivitis. Some symptoms of the disease include bleeding gums, bad breath, and swollen gums.

It's mainly caused by plaque build-up that causes your gums to become tender. Flossing can help during the early stages of gum disease. If you do away with the practice, more plaque will build up, causing the disease to progress.

Note that flossing while suffering from gum disease will cause pain during and after the process. Floss gently and talk to your dentist to help treat the disease.

You can use the Healthy Gums Toothpaste – Mint, which treats gum diseases by killing harmful bacteria.

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You Have Braces or Retainers

If you have braces or retainers, then you may experience pain after flossing. On the other hand electric toothbrushes are perfect for braces, while the manual ones are ideal while working on a budget. To get back on the topic, if you've had an adjustment recently, pain is natural after flossing. The pain isn't due to the flossing technique, but rather due to the adjustments.

Flossing with your braces or retainer can be challenging, but you'll master it with time.

a person with braces flossing

Loose Dental Restorations

If your dental restorations are aging, your teeth may feel loose.

When the teeth become loose, the roots may become exposed. Flossing the teeth makes them looser, causing pain. If you've had a dental filling and the teeth feel loose after flossing, the filling could be loose or cracked.

You can try sliding a short length of the floss instead of pulling it straight between the teeth. This will help remove the plaque build-up without applying too much pressure.

The Type of Toothbrush

The type of toothbrush you use could be the reason you're having some pain after flossing. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush may damage your gum and teeth, leading to pain after flossing. The situation worsens if you also brush roughly, as it can damage the tooth enamel.

various types of toothbrushes

If the toothbrush isn't effective in cleaning your teeth, you may experience gum disease and tooth decay, causing pain after flossing.

You can use a dental filling to treat tooth decay. If left untreated, cavities can lead to further challenges, including tooth loss and dental abscesses.

If you're looking for the right toothbrush, Sonic Toothbrush-White offers you a professional cleaning experience. It's electric, which saves you a lot of work, and the soft bristles soothe your sore gums.

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You Have Sensitive Teeth

Tooth pain after flossing may be due to sensitive teeth.

There are various causes of tooth sensitivity, also known as hypersensitivity, including cracks in your teeth and worn-out enamel. Some people are also genetically predisposed to tooth sensitivity.

If you use a hard-bristled toothbrush or brush too hard, you might damage the tooth enamel exposing the nerves, leading to sensitivity. You can experience the sensitivity as you take hot or cold drinks.

You should talk to your dentist as the sensitivity could signify other serious issues. Besides treating the sensitivity, the specialist can also recommend toothpaste to help deal with the pain.

Pain in the gums can discourage you from flossing. However, you can try out the following remedies for dealing with pain to ensure you don't avoid the crucial oral hygiene practice.

a man with ice-cream having troubles with his teeth

Rinse Your Mouth With Salt Water

Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help reduce swellings on your gum that cause the pain. Saltwater minimizes the amount of potentially harmful bacteria that hide in your gums and make them swollen.

To make salt water or rinsing:

  1. Mix a glass of warm water with a quarter teaspoon of salt

  2. Take a sip of the solution and gargle with it or swish it around your mouth for a few minutes, then spit it out. Don't attempt to gargle for too long

  3. Repeat the process regularly

Hot and Cold Compresses

Hot and cold compresses can also help you minimize swelling in your gums, which relieves your pain.

You can use an ice pack and wrap it with a cloth to make a cold compress. Press it on the hurting part of the gum.

To make a hot press, you can dip a cloth in hot water, rinse the excess water and press it on the swollen part of the gum.

tea bags and a cup of tea

Tea Bags

Using a tea bag can also help with pain in your gum. Tea contains a compound known as tannins that helps get rid of the pain by killing harmful bacteria.

You can get tannin from various types of teas, including black, green, and hibiscus. Some varieties also contain chamomile and ginger, which help in reducing inflammation.

To use a tea bag, start by dipping it in hot water for a while. Allow it to cool a little, and then apply it to the painful part of the gum for a few minutes.

Use Painkillers

Over-the-counter painkillers can also come in handy if you experience pain after flossing. You can also combine the medications with remedies such as rinsing with salt water to achieve the best results.

a woman taking a pill with a glass of water

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide helps kill bacteria and other germs that cause gum inflammation and pain.

Avoid undiluted hydrogen peroxide as it can cause damage to internal organs and internal bleeding. Dilute it with water, put it in your mouth, and gargle for a short while, spit it out and rinse the mouth using warm water.

Is it Normal for Gums to Hurt After Flossing?

If your gums are healthy, you shouldn't experience any pain after flossing. The pain comes if you use the wrong flossing techniques, or it's a sign of a severe condition.

a woman holding dental floss in her hands

How Long Does it Take for Gums to Stop Hurting After Flossing?

Flossing should help you improve your overall oral health by getting rid of plaque. With the use of the proper techniques, the process shouldn't be painful. As you learn the techniques, you can experience some pain for about a week.

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