Causes of Sore Gums

Causes of Sore Gums
Causes of Sore Gums

Most people have dealt with red, swollen gums at some point, and no one likes figuring out how to stop the bleeding, inflamed pain. Swollen gums are triggered by many things, with various developmental, infectious and medicinal causes. If you brush and floss regularly, you should prevent some plague build-up and prevent swollen gums.

Canker Sores

Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, may develop inside your mouth, including on the roof of your mouth, the tongue, near the gum line and the inside cheeks. Canker sores heal within two weeks, and the discomfort around the gums generally subsides within a few days.


Almost everyone experiences sore gums during the teething process, during infancy, childhood or adulthood with impacted wisdom teeth. Teeth are trying to push, triggering pain and discomfort in the gums where they are trying to break through. This makes both children and adults cranky and miserable with the pain they are feeling. Teething is a normal process of development; therefore infants often suck on teething rings to nurse sore gums and teeth, while older people take pain medication and eat cold soft foods like Jell-O and ice cream when nursing wisdom teeth.

Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (NUG)

Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis is unlike other forms of gingivitis because not only are the gums inflamed and bleeding, but they are painful and sore. NUG is triggered by a bacterial infection, which develops quickly on the gums. The pain can be felt even when nothing is touching the gums, and gum tissue between the teeth is literally being destroyed. Sufferers may also experience bad breath and a sore throat.


This gum infection may destroy the tissues and bones that are in your mouth. Sufferers experience swollen, red and purple gums, which hurt when touched, brushed or flossed. They may also have bad breath, or feel there is a constant bad taste in their mouth. Some of their teeth may become loose as the condition worsens.


Several kinds of medications, especially anti-seizure medications, may cause gum problems. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Dilantin has caused gingival hyperplasia, which triggers red, painful gums. Children tend to develop this more than adults.

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