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Teeth Hurt After Flossing? Here’s What You Can Do

Teeth Hurt After Flossing? Here’s What You Can Do
June 11, 2020 Nicholson Blog

Flossing should help your teeth, not hurt them.

While minor discomfort, swelling or bleeding after flossing vigorously is common (especially if it’s been a while since you last flossed), significant pain is a red flag which can indicate improper flossing technique or more serious oral health problems. Therefore, if at any time you do experience significant gum pain, it’s best to seek advice from oral health professionals.

To get you started, this article will provide tips for proper flossing, so you can avoid unnecessary pain or discomfort.


Do Your Teeth Hurt After Flossing?

If your teeth and gums are healthy and you are flossing properly and according to your dentist’s instructions, you should not experience any pain. Therefore, if you notice sensitivity, bleeding, swelling or discomfort after flossing, it’s a sign that you need to change something and/or seek professional help.


“Why Do My Teeth Hurt?”

There are several reasons your may be experiencing pain after flossing, including but not limited to:

    • Infrequent or irregular flossing. This is a common culprit, as studies show only 30% of people in the United States floss daily, and 32% never floss.
    • Improper flossing technique. The section below provides tips for proper, healthy flossing habits.
    • More serious problems such as: tooth sensitivity, gingivitis or gum disease, cavities, or damaged teeth.

While improper or irregular flossing is a more minor issue that can be fixed, tooth sensitivity, damaged teeth and gum disease are much more serious and can indicate or lead to other oral health problems. Therefore, if the pain you’re feeling is significant or does not go away after changing your flossing habits, we’ll say it again: seek the advice of a professional dentist.


Steps for Gum Pain Relief 

Overall, flossing regularly and properly is the best way to prevent gum pain. Below are some more specific tips and tricks you can try:

    • First of all, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you’re flossing regularly. Ideally, you should floss once per day.
    • Second, though this may seem obvious, you should use floss to floss between your teeth. One survey found that a majority of Americans had used other items to clean or remove food from between their teeth, including fingernails, paper, cutlery, safety pins, and even strands of hair. This is not only unsanitary, but unsafe.
    • While flossing your teeth, be gentle. You should avoid “snapping” the floss forcefully into place. Applying too much force can cause pain and damage your gums over time. Instead, slowly ease the floss between your teeth, at an angle if necessary.
    • Take your time and don’t rush the flossing process. Overtime, rushed flossing can even lead to receding gums.
    • Don’t forget to floss under the gum line, but again, do so gently and slowly to avoid gum bleeding or damage.
    • Try a different brand of floss. If you’re still feeling discomfort, there are types of floss that come with a more soft and gentle coating.
    • If these tips don’t work for you, talk to your dentist about alternative flossing methods, such as a water floss machine or water pick.
    • Talk to a professional. Your dentist can provide you with more detailed information on proper flossing and answer any other questions you may have.

teeth hurt after flossing


Answered: Why Do My Teeth Hurt After Flossing?

In summary, flossing healthy gums the correct way should never hurt. Make sure that you are flossing regularly and carefully, and if problems persist, be sure to talk it over with your dentist. There could be serious consequences if oral health problems are left unaddressed, so don’t delay in getting help.

If you’re looking for a professional and family-oriented dentist in Albany, Oregon, contact us at Nicholson Family Dental and request an appointment today. We look forward to working with you and your teeth!