Tooth pain after flossing can be a common problem. We have people coming to us and asking “Can Flossing Cause a Toothache?” There are many causes behind it, but it’s important that this type of tooth pain is never ignored. It’s also very important that you do not stop flossing just because your teeth begin to hurt afterwards. In fact, failing to continue with your good oral hygiene practice could make the problem worse. While the causes of tooth pain after flossing can be varied, the three most common causes are discussed below.

Improper Flossing Technique

The most common cause of pain after flossing is improper technique. Many patients who are new to flossing spend too much time prodding the gums with the dental floss, which can irritate the gums and cause damage. The same is true of using too much downward pressure to force the floss between teeth that are close together. Over time, this damage can build up and cause pain every time you floss and even when you brush your teeth. If this is happening to you, you may want to consider switching from traditional dental floss to a water pik or similar instrument instead. These devices can help remove any food debris and buildup from between your teeth using streams of water, which will not injure or damage your gums.

Tooth Sensitivity

If you have sensitive teeth, this can cause pain both when you floss and when you brush. Tooth sensitivity may be brought on by tooth decay or gum disease. If you’re unsure of whether your teeth are truly sensitive, try to remember if you’ve had any pain when drinking hot or cold liquids. If you have, chances are your post-flossing pain has been brought on by tooth sensitivity. You will need to consult your dentist as soon as possible so the underlying cause of the sensitivity can be identified and treated before any more damage occurs.

Gum Disease

The final common cause of tooth pain after flossing is gum disease. Gum disease can cause tooth sensitivity, as well as pain when brushing or flossing. This is usually caused by a buildup of plaque below the gum line. Though it hurts, continuing to floss can actually be a very effective treatment for the earliest stages of gum disease. You experience pain after flossing because you are beginning to clean and remove plaque from areas of the teeth and gums that weren’t exposed before. Continue to floss, but do so gently, taking care not to damage the gums. Talk to your dentist about other methods of treatment, such as a deep cleaning, which can remove the plaque buildup more quickly, and get you back to being healthy and pain-free once again.

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