How To Improve Your Gum Health When Flossing Hurts
While everyone should floss for optimal dental health, many people don't. If your gums have begun to bleed or hurt, chances are you're considering flossing to help reverse the pain and problems you're experiencing. Unfortunately, if you wait too long, flossing can be extremely painful and downright impossible to do. Read on to learn how you can improve the health of your gums and reduce the pain you're experiencing.
See a Dentist
First and foremost, make sure to visit a dentist. If your gums are hurting, bleeding, or swollen, chances are that you've developed gum disease. Thankfully, gum disease can be reversed, and there's no surer way to do it than visiting a dentist and having a thorough cleaning. Doing so may minimize the pain you're experiencing and make it easier to floss.
Consider Pain Medication
If flossing is too painful, you should consider taking some anti-pain medication to help dull the discomfort you're experiencing. Over-the-counter oral pain killers like Orajel work by numbing the area they're applied to, and they begin working almost immediately. With a numbing product, you should apply it to your gums just before you start flossing for maximum efficacy.
Another option is to take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen prior to flossing. If you choose this option, however, you should plan on taking your medication far in advance of flossing, as it will need some time to digest.
Use a Water Flosser
If pain medications don't work for you, consider using a water flosser instead. Water flossers have been shown to be just as effective at removing plaque and food debris from gums and between teeth as regular floss. In addition, some studies have found water flossers to be more effective at reversing gum disease than traditional flossing.
Using mouthwash alone won't make up for a lack of flossing. However, mouthwash can help to kill the germs in your mouth that contribute to the spread of gum disease and the development of plaque. If you're not already using mouthwash, consider it as an extra step to help conquer the pain your gums are experiencing more quickly.
Caring for your mouth once you already have a problem is difficult, but these tips can help to make it a bit easier. Just make sure that if the pain isn't going away or it becomes worse that you visit a periodontist, as it may indicate that you have severe gum disease that could potentially cause bone loss if left untreated.