We all know that being poked and prodded for an hour isn’t a fun thing. As dentists, we do all we can to increase the comfort of this experience (and we’ve come a very long way in a short amount of time), but somethings can’t be helped. If you’ve ever walked away from a dental cleaning with sore and tender gums, then you know that it’s not the nicest thing in the world. There IS a practical reason to why your gums are sore after a cleaning, however, and it’s not because we dentists like to make people suffer. Most of the time your bleeding gums mean one thing, someone hasn’t regularly been flossing.
Ouch! My Gums!
During a cleaning, we scrape away all the built up plaque on teeth and gums. Sometimes calcified plaque can exist and require more effort to clean than normal surface level bacteria. Removing this plaque can cause the gums to become inflamed and sore for several days after the initial cleaning. This is perfectly normal and a good sign that your gums are repairing and going to feel better than ever.
Sometimes you may feel pain for more than five days after your cleaning, if this happens your best bet is to make another appointment with your dentist (hopefully us!) to come back in for a follow-up. Several issues could be in play here.
The most likely scenario is that you have a periodontal abscess, caused by a piece of dislodged tartar. These abscesses usually happen to patients who are a bit more lax on their cleaning then they ought to be. We solve this with proper drainage and cleaning of the affected area (for the squeamish we won’t get into it in detail here, it is pretty gross). This can be a severe emergency if not treated appropriately and quickly, so don’t let time slip away if you’re feeling sore after a visit!
If it also possible that a routine dental check up could agitate and a pre-existing herpes condition and cause soreness or tenderness. Please consult a doctor if this is the case!
Tooth pain after a dentist trip isn’t always a bad thing! Hopefully, we’ve helped alleviate your fears in this blog because a little bit of pain now means your gums will be healthier and stronger tomorrow. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us by filling out the form on the right or calling the numbers above and below. We’re always happy to answer questions that our customers have about this area because we respect that it is a sensitive area for many people. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next time!