Why Do Your Gums Hurt In The Back Of Your Mouth?

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Medically reviewed by Othman Lahmaydi, RDH

Although white and healthy teeth give you the confidence to smile, you also need healthy gums. Gum health may affect your overall health in various ways. For example, poor oral hygiene and health conditions may cause gum pain, inflammation, or bleeding.

Growing wisdom teeth often cause gum pain in the back of the mouth for young adults. Other causes of gum disease include gingivitis, periodontitis, and canker sores. Misusing dental appliances can also cause gum irritation and pain. Luckily, various home remedies can help ease gum pain.

Take care of your gums to prevent issues such as tooth decay or tooth loss. Going for regular dental checkups will ensure your gums stay healthy and pain-free. If your gum issues persist after using home remedies, visit a dentist for professional advice. Read on for more information on why you may experience gum pain.  

Why You Have Gum Pain in the Back of Your Mouth

Young beatuiful blond woman standing on isolated white background suffering from sudden gum pain

The most common cause of rear-mouth gum pain in young adults and mature teens is growing third molars or wisdom teeth. However, various issues may cause pain in your gums.

If you’re confident that growing wisdom teeth aren’t causing gum pain, it may result from other medical conditions such as periodontitis and gingivitis.

Other causes of gum pain at the back of your mouth include:

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small, sensitive lesions that can develop anywhere in the mouth, including under the tongue, along the cheeks, and the gums. Treat the pain from these lesions using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Oral Thrush

Thrush is a fungal infection caused by overgrown yeast. It causes white patches inside the mouth, tongue, cheeks, and gums. The use of antifungal drugs has been effective in treating oral thrush.

Hormonal Changes

Many changes can occur in a person’s body because of hormonal fluctuations, such as those brought on by puberty or some types of birth control.

The way your body delivers blood to your gums may change because of these changes. Unfortunately, this often increases the sensitivity of the gum tissue, making your gums vulnerable to damage.

Hormonal changes can also alter the body’s reaction to plaque-related toxins. Signs of hormone-related gum disease include:

If you think you have gum pain caused by hormones, schedule an appointment with your dentist.


You may experience dental issues during pregnancy since hormones are hyperactive. The risk of infection rises when progesterone levels are high because this hormone alters how the body processes the chemicals and germs generated by plaque.

Most expectant mothers experience gingivitis. In addition, hormonal fluctuations may increase blood flow to the gums, leading to inflammation, irritation, and pain.

After giving birth, your hormone levels should return to normal, alleviating gum pain you may have experienced during pregnancy. However, getting your teeth professionally cleaned while you’re expecting is best. Maintaining a high standard of dental hygiene throughout pregnancy might also reduce discomfort.


Menopause causes various changes in the body, including the mouth. After reaching menopause, most women experience multiple issues:

  • Tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods.
  • Changes in taste.
  • Burning feeling in the mouth.
  • Reduced saliva production, resulting in mouth dryness.

Saliva keeps your mouth moist and eliminates the bacteria and toxins created by plaque. The risk of having periodontitis increases if you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. A dry mouth can also make your gums more sensitive.

Sucking on an ice cube or sugar-free hard candy can help replenish the moisture in your mouth if it becomes dry. You can also use a mouth spray or rinse formulated for dry mouth.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Periodontitis or gum disease is a severe disease affecting soft gum tissue. If left untreated, this condition can destroy the bone that supports the teeth. This condition can cause the teeth to become loose.

Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, is a mild gum disease that causes red and swollen gums that appear irritated and puffy. It can cause your gum to tear and bleed easily, which makes the gums sore. This disease is primarily driven by poor oral hygiene.

Although it isn’t a serious condition, gingivitis can quickly progress into severe gum disease. Brushing your teeth and flossing regularly can help prevent gingivitis—schedule regular checkups with a dentist to treat this disease and improver gum health.

Dental Devices

Gum irritation is common among those who use dental products such as braces, dentures, and mouth guards (on Amazon). The friction caused by these devices, if they fail or do not fit properly, may damage gum tissue. These devices may also leave markings on your gums, causing discomfort.

The chemicals in the products you use to clean and apply dental devices can irritate your gums. If your symptoms don’t improve after changing the cleaning product or adhesive, consult your dentist about reshaping the device.

How to Treat Gum Pain in the Back of Your Mouth

Brushing teeth

The first step in relieving mouth pain caused by the gums is pinpointing its source. Gum disease, canker sores, oral thrush, an ill-fitting dental device, and the development of wisdom teeth are all potential causes of painful gums in the back of the mouth.

Home remedies are usually effective in relieving gum pain. Try the following to relieve your sore gums:

  • Use over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen.
  • Rinse your mouth frequently using warm salt water.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing.
  • Consistently attend your dental appointments.

If you’re still experiencing bleeding or pain after a week or if the pain in the back of your mouth from your gums worsens, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. The dentist may order diagnostic tests like x-rays to zero in on the source of your discomfort.

How to Prevent Pain in Gums

The American Dental Association suggests following the dental tips below to maintain healthy gums:

  • Avoid plaque accumulation can be avoided by brushing your teeth twice daily. Use fluoride toothpaste and take your time brushing.
  • Keep your teeth and gums clean by flossing once daily. Flossing cleans your teeth and gums, maintaining healthy gums to prevent gum disease.
  • Use a mouthwash to help reduce plaque and tartar, which can cause gingivitis.
  • Reduce stress because it can make it challenging for your immune system to battle infections.
  • Schedule regular dentist visits each year. Make sure to brush and floss in front of your dentist, then seek advice from them.
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco. Gum disease is more common in people who use tobacco products.
  • Stick to a healthy diet that includes nutritious foods.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, genetics predisposes some people to gum disease. The CDC also links gum disease to a wide range of health conditions.

The bacteria in the mouth are often harmless to people with healthy immunity. But some of the microbes produced by plaque can cause health issues like heart disease and stroke. Gum disease can also worsen the severity of illnesses like diabetes.

To Finish

Since gum health can impact other body systems, do not ignore gum pain from the back of your mouth. Instead, contact your dentist promptly and schedule an appointment.

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