My gums hurt when I brush my teeth. What does this mean?


While brushing your teeth, if you feel like your gums are bleeding or swollen, are painful and sore, then you need to do something about it before your dental health begins to suffer. You can find out the reason your teeth or gums hurt while brushing. The causes could be any of the following:

Brushing Right

You could have gum soreness if you brush your teeth too hard or use a toothbrush with hard bristles. It would be best if you brush gently, using circular motions instead of back-and-forth, using soft, nylon bristles. It would be best if you brush your teeth using a toothbrush with soft bristles in circular motions instead of brushing them back-and-forth.

Gum Disease

If you have gingivitis, mild gum disease, and periodontitis, which is a severe gum disease, then it could lead to swollen gums, even make them feel tender or turn red. If you suspect of having gum disease, then consult a dentist as soon as possible.

Canker Sores

Canker sores could be painful and irritating as well. Canker sores, or ulcers, could be identified by their white centre with red edges. They can make your gums tender and sore to touch, making it hard for you to brush.


Women undergo hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause which can affect their gums. During these times, there would be more blood flow to the gums due to hormonal fluctuations, making their gums swollen, sensitive, or red.


Eating or drinking certain acidic foods and drinks like orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime juice, etc. can cause irritation or sensitivity to your mouth and even lead to mouth sores, which can hurt while brushing teeth.

Braces, Retainers, Dentures, Mouth Guards

Sometimes braces, retainers, dentures, or mouth guards could tug, pull, and rub against the gums constantly, which can make them sore and painful over time.


Pain in the gums, signs of bleeding, or swelling gums are side-effects of chemotherapy. The patients, who undergo chemotherapy, are likely to develop stomatitis, which forms ulcers and sores.

Prevention of Gum Pain and Soreness

You can make your gums feel better by providing a gentle massage to the gums from the outside of your mouth. Preventive measures are always the best way to treat gum sensitivity. The measures are brushing your teeth at least twice regularly after every meal, flossing, and using mouthwash as well. Visit your dentist for a routine dental visit.

Call Top Smile Clinic today on (02) 9051 2868 to book or request an appointment online.