7 Common Reasons Why Your Teeth Hurt After Flossing

What if taking care of your teeth actually caused more pain?

Whenever you visit the dentist, they’ll encourage you to floss every day. Unfortunately, you may discover that your teeth hurt after flossing. But this doesn’t mean you should stop doing it.

Instead, it means you must find what’s really causing the pain. Wondering why your own teeth hurt after you put the floss away? Keep reading to discover the answers!

1. New At This

In life, sometimes the best explanations are also the simplest. And if your teeth hurt after flossing, there may be a very simple reason for this: you’re new at all of this!

Flossing, like brushing, requires an actual technique. And mastering that technique takes a lot of practice. If you are new at this, you might floss too hard and cause your gums to ache and bleed.

If you are new at flossing, we recommend slowing down and taking your time. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about proper flossing techniques or even pull up some “how-to” videos on Youtube.

However, if you’ve been flossing for a while and are still experiencing pain, you’re likely experiencing another issue. Keep reading to discover what it might be and how you can fix it.

2. Sensitive Teeth

When it comes to tooth pain, everything is relative. For example, the pain you are experiencing may not be that extreme. But it may feel that way because you suffer from sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity (also known as dentin hypersensitivity) can be caused by a number of factors. Some people are more genetically predisposed to it than others. And other people experience sensitivity simply because they have been brushing and/or flossing too hard.

You may discover tooth sensitivity while flossing, or even when you consume hot or cold beverages or foods. Regardless of how you discover the sensitivity, it occurs because too much of your tooth enamel has worn off and left your nerves exposed.

A good dentist can help you fix this issue. In the meantime, you may want to use toothpaste and mouthwash specially formulated for sensitive teeth.

3. Tooth Decay and You

Have you ever thought about the real “goal” of dental care? Your primary objective is to remove the harmful bacteria from your mouth. And things like cavities and infections are a result of that bacteria building up.

This can lead to tooth decay in particular areas of your mouth. And flossing in those areas is likely to cause intense pain. To make matters worse, tooth decay often occurs in the exact spaces you floss (between the teeth), so flossing with tooth decay is almost certain to cause this pain.

If you suspect tooth decay, we recommend visiting your dentist right away. They may be able to conduct deep cleaning and other measures that help deal with the decay and ultimately remove the pain that comes from flossing.

4. Gum Disease

When you have tooth pain from flossing, you’re probably asking a simple question: “what’s the worst thing that could happen here?” In this case, the worst thing that can happen is that you have gum disease.

Gum disease is also known as gingivitis. If you have regular issues with your dental care and oral hygiene, it can lead to gum disease. Some of the symptoms of this include bad breath, swollen gums, and bleeding gums.

The bad news is that flossing when you have gum disease is likely to cause pain. The good news is that flossing is one of the best things you can do to remove plaque and tartar so that your teeth can heal. However, they won’t be fully healed until you get proper treatment from a qualified dentist.

5. Loose Dental Restorations

Have you had a lot of dental work over your life? In that case, pain from flossing may be caused by things like loose dental restorations.

“Restorations” refers to things like crowns over your teeth. All crowns eventually need to be replaced because when they loosen, it exposes many different nerves. And flossing when you have such nerves exposed can lead to intense pain.

You may not have a crown, but even simple fillings will crack over time. Flossing when such fillings are cracked can be similarly painful.

The only way to really fix these issues is to visit the dentist. By the time you leave the session, you’ll feel like you have a brand new mouth!

6. Issues With Braces and Retainers

Do you have braces or a retainer? In that case, flossing may cause pain under certain conditions.

For example, if you have recently had an adjustment to your braces, pain after flossing is natural. In that case, your teeth likely hurt because of the adjustment and not because of the way you are flossing.

However, flossing technique is usually to blame if you have a permanent retainer. The simple truth is that flossing with a retainer is more difficult than flossing without one. With patience and practice, you can master the right techniques and make the pain go away entirely.

7. Rough Toothbrush

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what is wrong with how you floss. But did you know that the main issue may actually be your toothbrush?

Generally speaking, a soft-bristled toothbrush will help clean your teeth better. If you’ve been using a hard-bristled toothbrush, it may lead to some of the issues we’ve already discussed.

For example, using an uncomfortable toothbrush for too long can make your teeth painfully sensitive. And if it isn’t cleaning your teeth that well, it can lead to tooth decay and even gum disease.

Long story short? Consider throwing out the old toothbrush and seeing if that helps with pain after flossing.

Teeth Hurt After Flossing? What To Do Next

Now you know why teeth hurt after flossing. But do you know who you can trust with all your dental needs?

Here at Westport Dental, we provide the service and care that you and your community deserve. To see how we can make your mouth feel brand new, contact us today!