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Is your dental care routine causing you pain?
Updated: 1/5/2009 8:00:24 PM

Is your dental care routine causing you pain? If you find yourself with sore or swollen gums when you are brushing or flossing, it may be the sign of a dental health problem.

However, it may also indicate that your dental hygiene routine needs to be adjusted, according to WebMD and the Cleveland Clinic.

Brushing too hard or vigorously could hurt the sensitive tissue that makes up your gums, so it may be best to opt for a manual or electric toothbrush with soft nylon bristles rather than hard ones.

Additionally, instead of a back-and-forth brushing motion, a preferable technique involves a circular, massaging motion, the experts suggest.

Flossing is another area in which your dental care routine should be gentle. Rather than forcing the floss between the teeth, it is better to slide it carefully along each surface in the shape of a "u."

If you continue to experience sore, swollen or bleeding gums, the American Dental Association recommends you visit a dentist for an examination.

These are all signs that could point to gum disease, a condition in which the bacteria in the mouth forms plaque on the teeth, causing gums to become inflamed.

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