Last week I got in-office teeth whitening, and it looks great. I scheduled the whitening two months ago but did not tell my dentist that my gums had been sore between my upper right first and second molars for the past three weeks. I do not have pain or sensitivity between either tooth. After whitening, the pain is more frequent after I eat. It goes away after an hour or so. I figured that the whitening made it worse. Should I wait a bit to see if the pain improves or schedule an appointment with my dentist? I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t tell my dentist about the issue before I got teeth whitening. Thanks. Trevor from KY
Thank you for your question, Trevor. Dr. Finley, Dr. Henderson, or Dr. Coughran would need to examine your gums to determine the cause of your pain, but we will provide general information.
What Causes Gum Pain Between Teeth?
A gum pocket or periodontal abscess between teeth can cause pain between your teeth. Food particles lodged between your gums and teeth can breed bacteria and infection. A deep cleaning from your dentist or periodontist may resolve your symptoms.
How Can You Prevent Gum Pain?
When trapped food particles cause gum pain, you can prevent pain with regular flossing. Some people with flossing challenges find a water flosser more effective in flushing away debris from between their teeth. Also, six-month exams and cleaning from your dentist and hygienist help. A hygienist has tools that clean beneath your gumline and remove any debris or plaque you cannot reach.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your gum pain and get an exam. Although you did not tell your dentist about your gum pain before your in-office teeth whitening, reporting it now can save you time-consuming and costly care later. If your dentist cannot identify the cause of your concerns, you may get a second opinion from a periodontist (gum specialist). A periodontist has specialized diagnostic tools that are not available from most general dentists.
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