If your gums feel sensitive, especially when you bush your teeth, this may be a sign of receding gums and gum disease. Sensitivity is usually linked to decay, acid erosion or receding gums and it can potentially be very serious; if you suffer from sensitivity or you’ve noticed that your gums bleed when you clean your teeth or they look or feel painful or swollen, you should arrange to see your dentist.
About gum disease
Gum disease is a common oral disease, which occurs when bacteria irritate the gums and cause them to become inflamed, sore and tender. Bacteria multiply in the mouth and they combine with food debris and saliva to form plaque; when the bacteria in plaque feed, they produce plaque acids, which attack the tooth enamel and irritate the gums. Early stages of gum disease are easily treated with good oral hygiene; however, if gum disease is left untreated, it develops and becomes more advanced and the more serious form of gum disease, periodontal disease, causes irreversible damage to the gums and the supportive bone structure beneath. Early signs of gum disease include sore, swollen and red gums and you may also notice bleeding, especially when you brush your teeth; in the latter stages, pockets may develop between the teeth and gums and you may notice that your teeth look longer; this is because the gums start to recede.
Receding gums and sensitivity
Receding gums contribute to heightened sensitivity because more of the tooth is exposed; more specifically, when the gums recede, the dentin can become exposed. The dentin is the section of the tooth underneath the enamel; it contains blood vessels and nerves and this is why you feel pain. Receding gums can be a sign of gum disease and they can also occur as a result of tooth grinding (also known as bruxism) and brushing your teeth too hard.
If you suffer with sensitive teeth or gums, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with you dentist.