Tooth Hurts When Flossing: What to do

Dental plaque is a bright smile’s number one enemy. This sticky, bacteria-containing film constantly forms on your teeth daily and wreaks havoc if it isn’t removed. Although plaque is virtually invisible, it causes teeth to decay, gums to get infected, and breath to smell bad. Yet, the simple tasks of brushing and flossing can remove plaque and prevent these problems. But what should you do if your tooth hurts when flossing? Continue reading to learn this and for more information about flossing.

Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive oral examination and professional teeth cleaning.

Reasons To Floss Daily

Studies reveal that most Americans do not take the American Dental Association (ADA) recommendation to floss daily seriously. One study found that about one-third of adults aged thirty and older flossed daily. Another study found that 20% of Americans never floss. A national survey found that more than one-fourth of U.S. adults lie to their dentist about their flossing habits. Remarkably, more than one-third of respondents preferred toilet cleaning to flossing.

Before you cite articles about the lack of evidence that flossing is beneficial, you might want to consider these three points:

  1. The evidence these articles cite is very thin.

  2. The recommendation comes from the health experts who released Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020. It did not come from the experts at the ADA.

  3. You would find it impossible to find a reputable dentist who does not recommend flossing.

Some of the reasons that dentists recommend removing plaque between teeth by flossing every day are:

  • To help prevent tooth decay.

  • To help prevent gum disease.

  • To help prevent halitosis.

  • To help prevent health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • To help remove stains between teeth for a brighter smile.

Why Does Flossing Make My Teeth Hurt?

With so many good reasons to floss, why do most people not do it daily as recommended? One study found that the most common excuse given is that flossing causes pain. There are several reasons flossing hurts or causes bleeding gums, such as:

  • You have one or more dental cavities.

  • You have inflamed gums (gingivitis).

  • You have hypersensitive teeth.

  • You have a loose dental filling or crown.

  • You have sore gums caused by brushing improperly.

  • You just started flossing, and your gums are not yet accustomed to it.

  • You need to change your flossing technique.

What Should I Do If My Teeth Hurt When Flossing?

You should be able to floss without having any pain. If you experience pain during or after flossing, review the proper technique for flossing. Errors such as flossing back and forth, pushing the floss too far under the gum, or using excessive force can cause pain. If you continue to have pain after a few days, you should contact your dentist for an oral examination to rule out problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, or a defective dental restoration.

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The oral health professionals at Trident Dental can help ensure you use the proper brushing and flossing techniques for healthy teeth and gums. Learn more about all we offer to help you have a bright and confident smile.

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