If you are 17 years of age and you stated your gums are red and itchy and they hurt, you should see your dentist. How have you been taking care of your teeth? Are you flossing and brushing correctly daily? Do you have a bad taste or mouth odor? Are your gums bleeding? Until you see your dentist, rinse your mouth with warm salt water. 1/2 teaspoon salt in an 8 oz glass of warm water. Make sure the water isn't hot; you don't want to burn your mouth. If you can touch your gums, you may not be able to use a toothbrush. Wash your hands and take some gauze 2 ×2's. Dip the gauze in warm salt water and gently wipe your gum line. Start in the back upper and lower and move towards your front teeth. After you do one area, throw that gauze out and take fresh two pieces. For right now, throw your old toothbrush out. Is anyone where you live having similar problems? Young patients sometimes "borrow" someone's toothbrush. You need to see your dentist so that you can have your gums treated. You may need special rinses or medication. Once you have your situation treated, get on a good home care routine. Ask how to floss and brush correctly. Patients believe that they can treat all dental problems themselves. We can't take care of our cavities and gum problems. Learn how to take care of your teeth. Flossing and brushing correctly will make you feel better. Seeing your dentist to have your mouth checked is to take care of problems before they turn into bigger ones.