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Why Are My Gums Sore After a Teeth Cleaning?

Why Are My Gums Sore After a Teeth Cleaning?

You’ve done your duty and reported to your dentist’s office for your regularly scheduled teeth cleaning. All went well, but on the way home, you notice that your gums feel sore.

You start wondering: Is this something I should worry about?

In most cases, the answer is no, you don’t have anything to be concerned about. In fact, sore gums after a teeth cleaning can be a good sign.

Dr. Ana Chester and her team at Chester Family Dentistry in Warren, Ohio, work hard to give you the best teeth cleaning around. Here’s why your gums may be sore after we’re finished.

Why a teeth cleaning can make your gums sore

No matter how much you brush your teeth at home, you don’t have professional-grade tools to remove all the plaque and tartar from your teeth. Brushing and flossing certainly help, but one of the purposes of regular cleanings is to remove any plaque that has built up on your teeth. 

The bacteria is very sticky and if it’s left too long, it can harden on your teeth. A common location for plaque is at your gum line because of all the cracks and crevices where bacteria can hide out, even if you’re a great flosser.

As your hygienist cleans this plaque away, they will be cleaning along your gums. This contact with your gums, especially if you have a lot of plaque that needs to be removed, can leave them feeling sore, similar to the way your muscles feel sore after a deep-tissue massage.

This feeling will be intensified if you have gingivitis (early-stage gum disease), which can cause your gums to be tender, swollen, and more susceptible to bleeding.

How to avoid sore gums

In most cases, your gum soreness will fade fairly quickly. If the soreness lingers on for a while, you may want to follow up with your dentist to rule out any other issues.

The best way to reduce your soreness in the first place is to practice good oral hygiene year-round. Brush at least twice a day for a couple of minutes each time, making sure you get the hard-to-reach areas and the front and back of each tooth. You should also floss each day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. 

Visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings will help keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible — this will keep your teeth clean and enable your dentist to catch any small issues before they become big problems.

If you’re due for a teeth cleaning, our team at Chester Family Dentistry has you covered. Just call our office today at 330-505-9668 or schedule your appointment online.

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