- The type of cleaning may have changed. There are various types of cleanings that vary on the depth of treatment around the tooth root. A routine or basic cleaning, usually called a prophylactic cleaning is most common and usually involves minimal invasiveness in the gums. There are also more involved cleanings such a full mouth debridement, or scaling and root planing which is appropriate in the presence of periodontal disease and tends to be much more invasive with a greater chance of inflammation and soreness.
- More time may have passed between the standard 6 month hygiene appointment. This would potentially allow for increased plaque buildup around the teeth and gums with subsequent greater swelling.
- Medication, diet, or health changes may have occurred. Many medications increase the chance of gum swelling. Health concerns such as diabetes also play a strong factor in overall gum health and recovery ability.
- Different hygienist than you normally see. Dental professionals are just like everybody else. We all have different personalities, abilities, and skill levels to perform certain tasks. Some hygienists are more skilled than others, and you may have encountered a hygienist who was not as delicate at her cleaning as you have experienced in the past.
Regardless of the cause, I would recommend you contact your dentist to address this issue. The dentist will likely recommend some anti-inflammatory medication, warm saltwater rinse, and/or some sensitivity toothpaste if you have increased sensitivity in the teeth.
Thanks for your question,
Blake Shreeve DMD