A common problem

Many people express concern about sore gums following a dental cleaning. The cleaning process assists oral hygiene by stripping away decayed, built up plaque. This hard, yellowed substance resembles the mineral deposits that develop over time in the scaly deposits left behind in sinks and tubs.

However, plaque consists of thousands of microbes. These bacteria ultimately work to decay teeth. For this reason, your teeth require periodic dental cleaning in order to remain healthy.

The Academy of General Dentistry reports that as many as 40 million Americans suffer from sensitive teeth and gums. The removal of built up plaque occasionally produces soreness for some people. This sensation stems from a variety of causes, including:

  • Cleaning may remove plaque wedged between a tooth and the gum line;
  • Sometimes cleaning reveals receding gum lines around teeth;
  • Pre-existing tooth problems can contribute to soreness following cleaning


Treatment options

Our dentist’s guidance offers the best solution for sore gums following a dental cleaning. Since different issues cause sensitive gums in individuals, a single “cure-all” solution to this problem does not exist.

Some of the more common options for resolving this problem include allowing time for gums to become less tender; treating periodontal gum disease, if it is present; or applying dental sealants. If a pre-existing dental problem contributed to soreness, it may require specific dental treatment.


Waiting a few days often causes gum sensitivity to subside. As new tissue grows around teeth, usually the soreness disappears.

Treating Periodontal Disease

Our dentist may recommend a course of action for treating periodontal disease. This condition causes thin, weakened gum tissue, contributing to sensitive gums that bleed easily, but effective treatments exist.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants sometimes offer some relief. They can help protect teeth.

Find more information on teeth cleaning and whitening here.