Dentist Questions Dental Exam

Very swollen and red gums after routine dental cleaning

Usually I have a routine dental cleaning without any issue, but this time my gums are extremely inflamed, pounding with pressure, and sore. It's been 2 days and I haven't seen any relief. Why is this happening?

64 Answers

Contact your dentist and have a follow-up, it's not common. You may have another problem developing.
No, this could be a sign of an underlining periodontal infection.
Not sure without seeing you before and after your cleaning. Consult your dentist.
Go back to your dentist for an evaluation.
It is difficult to answer this question without seeing the gums, there could be many reasons. I would suggest going back to the dentist and having them evaluate the gums :)
We usually see bleeding gums during cleanings if there is inflammation present like in the case of gingivitis. If your gums are generally healthy, the bleeding should be minimal during a cleaning. If the pain persists for more that a couple of days, be sure to contact your dentist for a follow up visit to evaluate why this could be happening. Warm salt water rinses may help to alleviate the discomfort.
It's normal after cleaning, avoid spicy and hard food for 1 week, get sensodyne toothpaste if any teeth sensitivity
Swollen and red gums can be seen after the cleaning 2 days up to 5 days. Brush your teeth gently and floss, use any non-alcoholic mouthwash 3-4 times a day. You can take ibuprofen, not more than 2000 mg a day. If your swollen and red gums are not resolving more than five days, please visit your dentist asap.
I am sorry to hear your gums are so sore after your cleaning. Why your gums are so inflamed and sore is a difficult question to answer without knowing your exact situation. However, I will give a few possibilities as to why this may be happening to you:
- 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.
You may have had deeper calc (tartar) deposits on your teeth requiring deeper instrumentation. Call your dental office for a follow-up. Dentist mat prescribe an oral rinse for you.
Hard to say, could be trauma, could be inflammation in your gums that is flared up after the cleaning. If you have deep pockets around the teeth these spaces can get inflamed after a cleaning. Hard to say without x rays. I would call your dentist to let them know. They would probably want to see you if it is too bad.
I'm not sure what caused your gums to hurt after your last dental cleaning. Perhaps there was more gum inflammation or tartar than your normally have.
However, regardless of the cause, the best cure is usually warm salt water. After a dental cleaning when we anticipate that the gums may be more sore than normal, we recommend rinsing with warm salt water 3-4 times a day for the next 2-3 days. Take a juice glass of warm water and add a teaspoon of salt. Stir. Rinse for 30-60 seconds and spit out. The salt water is very soothing to sore gums and helps promote healing of inflamed, tender gums. You can also take Ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory) if needed for the pain during this time.
This can happen on occasion when the bacteria levels get high. Continue to brush and floss as well as rinse with warm salt water a few times a day for a week and hopefully, your gum tissue will respond. If it gets worse or does not respond a follow-up appointment would be a good idea.
You may have an infection. Go back to see the dentist that did the cleaning or give us a call for an examination - 210-653-3452.
That's hard to say. Was this cleaning a little more aggressive than normal? Have you recently switched oral care products (toothbrush, toothpaste, rinse, etc)? Has something changed with your diet and/or general health? Were there any issues or changes in your oral care habits before this particular cleaning? These are all things to consider, but you should also speak to the dentist and hygienist that you last visited to alert them as to what happened.
A change in diet or medicines can cause more build up; making 'regular' cleaning a more painful experience. From practice to practice may have a slight difference in how their cleanings feel also.
This doesn't sound like a typically course events after a routine cleaning unless you have pocketing or areas that the gingiva was loosen from the cleaning- this can happen sometimes and then patient goes to eat something with seeds, crust or any food material that can lodge itself within the gum tissue. I would return to your dentist for an evaluation after the cleaning.
I think you had more calculus deposits and the dentist or dental hygienist had to do more extensive cleaning leading to some inflammation. You can try warm saline rinses and have it evaluated if it still persists after 1 week
If it has been a while between dental cleanings; it may be that you had gingivitis and the inflammed gums need to heal. A regime of warm saline rinses may help (1/2 teaspoon salt to 8 ounces of warm water) there will be enough per mix for a few rinses. 20-30 seconds rinse expectorate (spit out) and repeat per 8 oz. Do this 3 or 4 times per day. Another factor maybe due lack of vitamins especially vit C &/or B. It is best advised if the problem persist to bring it to the attention of the clinicians which provided the service. Hope this helped and the problem resolves. Enjoy your day.
Your question can go different ways but with what you are sayings. Maybe you have a more severe gingivitis this time. It can be because of many factors :hormones in the cycle (periods, pregnancy, breastfeeding, age... ), inflammation in the body because of medication/food/health, disease like diabetes, etc)

You should continue to floss and do your hygiene treatment, it should decrease. If not, consulte your dentist.
Do you floss your teeth regularly? Do you have any health issues?
There are many reasons why this can happen. One is if it has been a long time in between your normal cleanings. Tartar could have accumulated in the extended time. Another reason can be if you were at a new office and the old office wasnt actually going below the gum line to get the tartar. Another possible reason can be hormones. Women tend to bleed and have more inflammation if their teeth are cleaned during their menstrual cycle or when they are pregnant. Could also be an allergic reaction to the prophy paste or floss that was used. Lastly, the hygienist might have just been a little rough with you. It's really hard to tell without looking, but these are some of the possibilities. Hope this helps.

Justin W. Ruffner, DDS
Outer Cape Dental Group
Office (508)349-6300
Cell (508)742-8659
Thanks for the question. It is impossible to damage teeth and the gums with a scaler, not in the range at which dental scalers vibrate. It is however, very common for ones teeth or even the gums to feel very sensitive after a scaling. This is particularly true if there is a lot of cleaning to be done! Regardless, I would like to see you in person so I can have a better assessment of the problem and give you some tools and advises that may help. You can call us at 3055310063 or 3055962815 for consultation. ;)
Has it been some time since your last dental cleaning?
I suggest you to come back to your dentist, it possibly caused by a loose calculus remained under the gums
Hi, first of all I would ask your dentist if they performed a regular or so called "deep" cleaning. The last one can be a quite traumatic procedure. Anyway, if your symptoms do not resolve within a couple next day, I would schedule an appointment with your dentist for fither evaluation.

Question. Did the dentist or hygienist use anything different it could be a hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction To something they used. I am assuming the gums were not inflamed prior to your visit.
Good oral hygiene is very important for your overall health. If you feel that you are doing everything right and still have had a problem, definitely contact your dentist. If in your opinion: the hygienist was " rough", you have to have your dentist know about it. Take care Dr. Bednarski
You may have had a little build up of calculus, or tarter before your gumline. This will make your gums sensitive and throb. The best thing is to keep up with brushing, flooding, and rinsing. Usually is suggest an antiseptic mouthwash like Listerine, but if you're still sore salt water well help.

If you have any concern you can always see the dentist for a follow up.
Dr. Reiser
Have possible allergies evaluated such as for latex gloves that were used by the hygienist/doctor or to the anesthetic used such as the topical.
Is unusual to have swelling and pain after hygiene appointment . Please arrange an appointment with your dentist for evaluation.
We definitely recommend you see your general dentist as soon as possible. They will need to investigate the area. Depending on what they find they may need to do a specific type of cleaning or procedure, write you a prescription for a medication or refer you to a specialist. This would be your best course of action. Hope this helps. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact us. Thanks and have a great day!
Who did the dental cleaning? When was the last time your teeth were cleaned? Was anything done differently this time? It is possible that the operator used latex gloves or a latex prophy cup and that you have developed an allergy to latex. Go back to whomever cleaned your teeth and find out what transpired differently.
Hi. It is possible that you may have had plaque or tarter that was present below the gum line requiring the dentist or hygienist to do a deeper cleaning. This would result in temporary redness and soreness of the gums. If it does not resolve completely within a day or two of having the cleaning, you should go back and see your dentist for further evaluation.
Sore gums after a dental cleaning sometimes could happen if a little more detail cleaning was needed on your last appointment compare to previous appointments you had with your dentist. I would recommend that you start rinsing with warm salt water at least 3-5 times a day for the next 3-5 days. Also , take some over the counter mild analgesics like ibuprofen to alleviate the discomfort. I hope you start feeling better soon.
While each patient's needs are different there are several items to consider. Did you have a complete examination and a periodontal assessment during your visit? Were digital films taken and evaluated? Normally, after several days, you should feel much better. Sometimes, this is an indication of other concerns such as medical issues. I recommend you contact the doctor's office where you had the treatment done and share your concerns with them. If you still need assistance, please contact our office.
Use mouth rinses that are antiseptic and have flouride in them, like a purple Listerine, every night before bedtime. There is a Listerine zero version that has zero alcohol if it burns too much. You may have sensitive teeth and gums, but if daily care is not doing it with brushing 2x per day at 2 minutes each, check on your diet. If there is high frequency of acid consumption (coffee, soda, energy drinks), then your teeth may be demineralized from them. Use them only at mealtimes and then only water in between meals. If this is not an issue, revisit with your dentist to see about possible cavities or different prescription mouthrinse/toothpaste.
That's a pretty unusual situation. Hard to say what is happening without seeing the gums. It could be an allergy to something used the other day or a preexisting periodontal issue. You really should call your dentist immediately and ask to be seen without delay.
Sounds like you should go back to that dentist and make sure. If you had a deep cleaning then some light swelling and bruising can occur. Warm salt water or non-alcoholic mouthwash can help keep the area clean... it can take a few days to calm down after a deep cleaning.
You should call your dental office to be seen again. It is not possible to diagnose your situation without a visual exam. The list of possible reasons are too broad to give an answer that has any real accuracy. So call your dental office and request to be seen.
It is impossible to say for certain without an exam, but here are some of
the possible reasons:
1) Hygienist was too aggressive and not careful when cleaning the gums around your teeth causing trauma. (Not likely if the same hygienist you always see).
2) Previous cleanings were not performed well, leaving buildup below the gum line, and the hygienist had to really get in there and clean.
3) The cleanings in the past you had were regular above the gum prophylactic cleanings, and the most recent cleaning you had is "deep scaling" or scaling and root planing to treat periodontal disease.
4) Using a new toothpaste or mouthwash since the cleaning. (Possible allergy).
5) Bacterial infection. If a more thorough cleaning up you teeth was needed, sometimes bacteria can find their way inside your gums at the junction of where your gums meet your teeth.
5) My recommendation would be to take 400 mg ibuprofen every 6 hours for a couple of days (If you do not have an allergy to it and are not taking any other medicines) and rinse with the original (antiseptic) or all naturals Listerine mouthwash three times a day for a minute each time.
6) If things do not get better, then you should see your dentist, other things that can cause generalized swelling and soreness of the gums can include lack of certain vitamins as well as autoimmune diseases.

It would be highly unlikely for it to be autoimmune related but if you have no improvement you should consult with your dentist.
If there was a lot of bleeding, then it will take a week or so. I would suggest Peroxyl mouthwash a couple times a day. Take 3 Advil, if it's that much discomfort. Warm salt water rinse will also help. There isn't enough information to be more specific.
Is the swelling general and all over your gums or in localized spots? Usually, if there's pockets present around your teeth and the calculus get dislodged under the gum, it can cause pain and swelling after cleaning, but if it's all over the gums, there might be a systemic situation, so the medical and age is important here.
Good afternoon,

Thanks for asking, let me ask you -

- When was your last cleaning? and during the cleaning, did your teeth or your gums hurt?

Dr. Vu
There are certain things not clear, without more information and things are not clear so couldn't answer specifically. Please read below.

When was your last Cleaning done? Were you told that you had any gum disease (periodontal disease)?

Assuming that you had been having healthy gums and are going on regular/routine 6 months hygiene recall visits, if you had a "prophylaxis" aka regular cleaning and based on the symptoms you describe, it could be usually due to aggressive usage of hand instruments or ultrasonic scalers. Many times, they have to be done if the treating dentist or hygienist has noticed any calculus aka tartar below the gum line that they had attempted to remove by possibly being aggressive.

The other possibility is that the amount of tartar below the gum line has been more extensive and they were only able to remove part of it, then the tissues shrink leaving a trap of leftover tartar under the gum line, which may lead to the situation described by you. If this is the case, then you may need a possible gum treatment if you are diagnosed for periodontal disease.

If you did not have any tartar issues and if still you had this situation, then it just describes overzealous usage of hand and ultrasonic instruments. If this is the case, then you may use some chlorhexidine mouthwash 0.12% 15 ml, 3 to 4 times a day and continue normal brushing and flossing and follow up with your dentist or hygienist, if it persists.

Alternatively, you may use warm salt water rinses 3 to 4 times a day as well.

Hope this helps and you feel better.
It is hard to say without knowing your periodontal condition, but you could get an over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide rinse like Peroxyl and try rinsing with it.
Are you allergic to latex? It's possible that the office used latex gloves or a latex polishing cup. Was a rinse used that was very concentrated?
There could be many different causes related to this problem, some systemic and others localized. If you are a patient in our practice, please call as soon as possible to have us check you. If you have a different dentist, you should contact them promptly or if you would like, we could see you. Thank you for asking.

This sounds very unusual after a routine clean. Sometimes, there may have been a particularly large amount of calculus that was cleaned off and irritated your gums. Or perhaps it is completely unrelated to the cleaning, maybe associated with a problem with another tooth. It is very difficult to give you an exact reason without a proper assessment. I would recommend
that you come in for a thorough examination by a dentist. Give us a call on 02 4731 4655 if you would like to make an appointment with us.

Hope this helps.
Usually, swollen and inflamed gums after a cleaning can be a reaction to having a lot of tartar buildup and already having some gingivitis before going into your appointment for a cleaning. Did this symptom finally subside?

Lara Bacchelli
Your gums' "reaction" is not normal. Start with salt water rinses and call your dental office ASAP.
Most likely there is an issue hidden deeper within your gums. It is either inflammation from a generalised gum infection, or inflammation from a deeper clean then usual. Soreness after a deep clean should resolve within a few days. I'd recommend you see the dentist who performed the clean for a review of the situation.
I am so sorry that you have had a problem but I will need more information. Had it been a while since your last routine cleaning? Did your hygienist say that you had more build-up or deeper than normal pocketing.? Are you taking any new medications or have you been diagnosed with any illnesses? Are you allergic to anything in particular? Please let know if I can help you.
It is not uncommon to notice some soreness after a cleaning. The instruments used to clean teeth sometimes irritate the gum cause causing some tenderness. It also depends if the cleaning was a routine cleaning or a deep cleaning. I would suggest to follow up with your dentist to make sure there is nothing else going on. Meanwhile salt water rinses can help calm the gums to some extent.
Hello! I'm so sorry to hear about your discomfort. Were you seen at our office? If so, if you would be able to provide your name, I can check our records to see if there was anything unusual about this cleaning that the hygienist may have noted. If not, I would love to see if we can bring you in to have the doctor examine the situation and see what the best solution can be. Our office phone number is 614-443-4625. Until I hear from you, if you would like to try using warm, salt water rinses, that may be able to alleviate some of your discomfort. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Hi there,

A number of reasons exist that could explain your sore gums. It may have simply been a deeper clean than you are used to, there may have been more buildup on the teeth than usual, or there may be an underlying condition that is causing the inflammation. I would recommend calling the dentist who completed the clean for you and advising them of this unexpected development and allow them to provide you with the support you require.

Kind Regards,
Dr Rick Iskandar
Director, Principal Dentist
Mobile: 0434 210 136<tel:0434%20210%20136>
If you have not had a cleaning in over 6 months, then you may have gum disease. It is not uncommon to have pain and gum swelling for a few days after a cleaning. The cleaning can cause your gums to be red and swollen, since the dentist removed tartar and plaque below the gums to help your gums go back to health. Removing the tartar below the gum line of inflamed gums can cause it to appear swollen, and since the gums were probably inflamed to start with. Tartar acts like a splinter under the gums and similar to when a splinter is stuck in your finger and you have left it there for a while, it would be inflamed and painful to have it removed. This is similar to dental cleaning on teeth that have a lot of tartar below the gums. If you don’t feel better in a couple more days, you should contact a dentist to see if something is going on.
To whom it may concern,

Thank you for your question. It is perfectly normal to be swollen and have red gums after a cleaning for a week, especially if you haven't been to the dentist in a while. It could mean that since you last had a cleaning, there was more calculus in deeper areas. This inflammatory process should dissipate in a week. It's important to inform your dentist of these issues and follow up if the swelling continues.

Jeff Litman DMD
Hello, I'm so sorry that you're experiencing so much discomfort. There are many factors that can contribute to this happening. If you give us a call, we would be happy to review your case and see if we can find out what the cause is. We can give you recommendations to ease your discomfort as well as let you know what can be done to prevent this from happening again. Hope to hear from you soon (805) 984-0230
Have you reported this to the treating dentist? Mild inflammation would be within normal limits after deep cleaning, but "very swollen/inflamed" means you need to return to dentist, asap.
Soreness two days after a routine cleaning is unusual, unless it was a periodontal procedure or "deep cleaning". 400 to 800mg of Ibuprofen is good if you're able to take that along with warm salt water rinses. You can also apply to the areas Anbesol or OraJel with a cotton swab. I would also recommend checking in with the office about your circumstances.
You might have had extra calculus buildup requiring more aggressive scaling. The soreness and swelling may take a week to go away, but the end result will be healthier gums! RB DMD
Without seeing you personally to evaluate your situation, it's difficult to tell why this may be happening. I would suggest that you call your dentist for a visit. If you are in the Orange County, CA, you are also welcome to call us for an exam at 949 252-1889. My office information and new patient forms can also be found on

All the Best,
Dr. Tang
We would love to help, what you need is a thorough exam to see what the cause of bleeing is, it could be the early stages of gum disease which can be managed under the care of a qualified dentist. Please call us if you would like to come in 905-864-3368.