Tooth pains after flossing  

Why Do My Teeth Hurt After Flossing?

Flossing of the teeth has become an important part of oral care. Regular flossing has a lot of benefits like to remove food and dental plaque from between teeth. However, some people experience a lot of pains when flossing. In this article, we’ll discuss flossing pains and when to see a dentist.


What is flossing?

Flossing is when a thin filament is used to remove food particles and dental plaques from between teeth. This is done to improve and maintain oral health. It can be used to prevent gingivitis and the build-up of plaque.



Causes of tooth pains after flossing 

The causes of tooth pains after flossing may varies among individuals but here are some common traces to the tooth pains 

  1. New at flossing 
  2. Improper flossing equipment 
  3. Tooth sensitivity
  4. Gum disease 
  5. Tooth decay 

New at flossing 

Trying something for the first time comes with some unease, same as flossing for the first time. If your teeth hurt after flossing, there may be a very simple reason for this: you’re new at all of this!

Flossing requires mastering the  technique and this takes a lot of practice. Therefore, If you are new at this, you might floss too hard and cause your gums to ache and bleed.

It’s advisable to slow down and take your time when you are new at flossing. 


However, if you’ve been flossing for a while and are still experiencing pain, you’re likely experiencing another issue. 

Improper flossing equipment 

The equipment and techniques one use in flossing can also be a cause for the tooth pains. A soft-bristled toothbrush is the best to help clean your teeth better. If you’ve been using a hard-bristled toothbrush, it may lead to some pains. 

For example, using an uncomfortable toothbrush for too long can make your teeth painfully sensitive.


Also, when you spend too much time prodding the gum with dental floss, it can irritate and cause damage to the gum. When you put too much pressure to force the floss between teeth that are close together, it causes a lot of pains every time you brush your teeth. 

Tooth sensitivity 

Tooth flossing pains can also be traced to the sensitivity of your tooth. If you have sensitive teeth, this can cause pain both when you floss and when you brush. The pain you’ll be experiencing may not be that extreme, but it may feel that way because you suffer from sensitive teeth.

When this happens, 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 

Another cause of tooth pain after flossing is gum disease or gingivitis.

Gum disease is when you have regular issues with your dental care and oral hygiene. Some of the symptoms of this include bad breath, swollen gums, and bleeding gums. If you have gum disease,you may 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.  

You must continue to floss because it can help to remove plaques and tartar so that your teeth can heal.

Gum disease
Gum disease

Tooth decay 

Brushing and flossing are surely reducing the number of bacteria in our mouths. Unfortunately, sometimes bacteria can find ways to avoid its nemesis. When it builds up, decay, cavities, and infections appear. That is why the second reason for your painful floss is tooth decay.

The pain you are experiencing can be located only in one spot. In this case, you probably have decay or cavities in that exact place. Bacteria are known to gather in corners and in between teeth, right where you are doing your regular flosses.

How to floss properly

Flossing helps to cuts away sticky plaque and food debris. 


Here’s how to floss correctly to avoid toothache or painful gums after flossing.

  • Use about 18 inches of floss wound around your middle fingers of both hands.
  • Hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers.
  • Then, gently insert it between the teeth. 
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth.  
  • Gently rub the floss up and down, keeping it pressed against your tooth. 
  • Also, floss under the gum line, but then again, do so gently and slowly to avoid gum bleeding or damage.

Things to avoid when flossing your teeth 

  • Don’t snap or jerk the floss, as it can cause flossing pain.
  • Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth.
  • If your gums hurt, avoid over-flossing sore gums.


Flossing is a necessary and important practice of oral health, therefore the pains you experience during flossing shouldn’t stop you from flossing. 


The pains you feel is because your teeth are getting used to being properly cleaned if you have a gum disease. 

If pains persist for a long time, kindly visit your dentist

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