Why Does My Tooth Hurt While Flossing?

We break down the common reasons why your gums or teeth hurt after flossing.

For an overall healthy smile, a daily brush and floss routine is a must. However, some people may find that their tooth or gums hurt following a flossing session - and it’s natural to wonder why this may occur. (Especially because flossing should never hurt).

Last time, we addressed potential causes of tooth sensitivity following a filling. This time, we’re going to address the potential causes of sensitive teeth or gum pain with flossing - in addition to how you can manage this discomfort without sacrificing a proper oral hygiene routine.

Why some experience pain with flossing

Believe it or not, the most common cause of gum or tooth pain after flossing is not flossing regularly enough! If you’ve gone even a few days without flossing your teeth, you likely have a buildup of bacteria beginning below the gum line and in those areas.

This accumulation of food debris and bacteria or plaque can cause more than just tooth decay - it often causes rapid disease of the gums, and requires the body to send more white blood cells to the area to try to fight this infection. This is how the gums become more sensitive, tender, and commonly bleed more easily when you’re cleaning your teeth. So, the lesson here is to not skip a day, and definitely don’t skip several days of flossing if you want to prevent any sort of gum disease-related pain or bleeding with flossing the teeth and gums.

Sensitive teeth or gums may also be caused by this

If you haven’t been using a proper flossing technique, this may also be the reason why your tooth or gums hurt. When you’re flossing your teeth, be sure to follow these steps:

Alternatively, tooth sensitivity may be caused by worn enamel or receded gums.

In this case, try brushing your teeth using special toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth, and ensure it contains fluoride to help strengthen the teeth and make them less susceptible to erosion or demineralization.

If your gums are noticeably receding and more dental surface area is becoming exposed, then visiting your dentist to address this is a good idea. You’ll likely benefit from a periodontal treatment or treatments that include a deep cleaning (scaling and root planning or pocket reduction), and/or a gum grafting procedure that will be able to restore lost gum tissue back to the areas.

Tooth or gum pain still persisting with regular flossing?

Don’t put it off any longer. You and your smile deserve better!

Schedule your next visit with our expert dentist and team at Danforth Dental Care today.

why do my teeth hurt when flossing?
About Dental Clinic Danforth

We are conveniently located near Greektown on the TTC Danforth Avenue subway line between Greenwood Avenue and Coxwell Avenue.

1411 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4J 1N2