Have you noticed discomfort or pain after brushing your teeth? Noticing warning signs of oral health issues and quickly acting on them is a great way to keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition. Read the top three causes of tooth pain and what to do about them.
3 Possible Causes of Tooth Pain After Brushing
Cleaning your teeth is essential for keeping your smile healthy. If your teeth hurt after brushing or eating hot or cold foods, you may have tooth sensitivity. According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay and gum disease can cause tooth sensitivity, and you will need professional treatment. Your dental professionals can check for signs of oral health problems and recommend a treatment for tooth sensitivity, such as a special toothpaste, a crown, or an in-office application of fluoride gel.
Tooth sensitivity may be temporary. Some people report tooth pain shortly after a visit to their dental hygienist. If the dental hygienist has done any scaling or tartar removal or your teeth could be sensitive if you have gum recession, discomfort can occur from the exposed root surface. In this case, tooth sensitivity is only temporary. You can brush your teeth with sensitive toothpaste. Usually, your teeth will return to normal within a few weeks. If they do not, call your dentist and ask them to check your teeth.
If a recent dental treatment is not the reason, food sensitivity can often be a side effect of damaged enamel, which you can't get back once worn away. Damaged enamel occurs when the hard mineral that protects your teeth's surface erodes over time, as explained by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Enamel erosion is usually the result of exposure to acid or excess sugar. Enamel that wears away can result in cavities and pain after brushing or flossing. If you suspect this is the reason for your teeth hurting after flossing or brushing, talk to your dentist.
If the enamel wears away to the point of exposing the sensitive nerves in your teeth, you have a cavity. These cavities often manifest as sharp pain when you bite down on something hard, and it doesn't have to be hot or cold to set you off. Cavities are small fissures in your teeth, but they can lead to more complicated infections if left unfilled. You should see your dentist as soon as you suspect you have one; he or she can fill it to prevent it from becoming worse.
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. Plaque buildup irritates gum tissue, making gums swollen and tender. Bleeding gums after brushing is a sign of gingivitis. Maintain proper oral hygiene and see your dentist if you notice these symptoms. As gum disease progresses, it can become more challenging to treat.
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 toothbrush to keep teeth clean. Good brushing technique with a soft brush can help remove plaque and fight tooth decay and gum disease without irritating your gums and teeth. Brush for two minutes using short, gentle strokes. Clean all the surfaces of your teeth, including the outside, inside, and chewing surface of those hard-to-reach back teeth.
As you can see, tooth pain after brushing may be a temporary inconvenience after a professional dental treatment, or it may be a sign of a more serious oral health condition. Maintain good oral hygiene habits with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you notice pain, discomfort, or bleeding gums, then be sure to see your dentist.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.