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Pain After Cleaning Your Teeth at Home: 3 Possible Causes

Brenna Stone

Do you have pain after cleaning your teeth? Pain from brushing and flossing may be a sign that there is something wrong with your oral health or with your brushing habits. If you experience any discomfort, then talk to your dentist. Noticing warning signs of oral health issues early and acting upon them quickly is the way to keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition.

Tooth Sensitivity

Daily brushing and flossing is essential for keeping your smile healthy. If you have sensitive teeth, then you may notice pain from cleaning or from the stimulation of hot or cold foods. According to the American Dental Association, tooth sensitivity can be caused by serious dental health concerns such as tooth decay or gum disease. Your dentist can check your teeth and gums for signs of oral health problems and recommend a treatment for tooth sensitivity, such as the use of a special desensitizing toothpaste, a crown, or an in-office application of fluoride gel.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease, is caused by plaque that has had the chance to build up on your teeth and irritate gum tissue. Swollen, tender gums that bleed after brushing are a sign of gingivitis. Keep up your great oral hygiene and see your dentist if you notice these symptoms. As gum disease progresses it can become more difficult to treat.

The Wrong Toothbrush

If you notice pain and discomfort after brushing with a hard-bristled brush, then it may be time to get a new toothbrush. Most dentists recommend a soft-bristled brush to keep teeth clean. Good brushing technique with a soft brush can help to remove plaque and fight tooth decay and gum disease without causing pain. Brush for two minutes using short, gentle strokes. Pay attention to the gum line and all the surfaces of your teeth, including the outside, inside, and chewing surface of those hard-to-reach back teeth.

Brush twice a day and floss daily to help prevent dental problems that may cause pain after cleaning. Use a soft-bristled brush and a thorough brushing technique to remove plaque. If you do notice pain, discomfort, or bleeding, then be sure to see your dentist.

Learn more about how to brush well in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: iStockphoto/Lammeyer

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