Sore gums can have many potential causes, such as gum disease, vigorous brushing, or hormonal changes. They can also be a sign of COVID-19 infection, although this is not a common symptom.
Sore gums without any other symptoms are unlikely to be a sign of COVID-19. But if you experience sore gums along with more common symptoms like fever, cough, and tiredness, it’s more likely that you may be dealing with COVID-19 or another serious condition.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can tell if your sore gums are caused by COVID-19 or if they may have another cause.
Sore gums can potentially be a symptom of COVID-19, but it’s not among the most common symptoms. It’s unlikely that you have COVID-19 if you have sore gums without any other symptoms.
COVID-19 may also indirectly contribute to sore gums by leading to a dry mouth that raises your risk for developing gum disease.
COVID-19 has also been linked to the formation of sore ulcers on your gums, lips, and other parts of your mouth.
Ulcers seem to typically develop in the early stages of the disease after loss of taste and before general symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue. Ulcers seemed to generally heal with treatment within 2 weeks.
Dry mouth may contribute to gum pain
A dry mouth can also lead to an increased chance of developing gum disease. Gum pain is a potential symptom of gum disease. So while COVID-19 may not directly cause gum pain, this kind of pain can indirectly result from COVID-19.
A dry mouth can potentially develop before other symptoms of COVID-19.
Here are some conditions that may cause gum pain.
Gum disease is usually caused by a bacterial infection that can develop when food and plaque get trapped in and around your gums. It can cause gum pain and other symptoms such as:
Women may notice gum pain due to changes in hormones. The hormones estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow to the gums and can make them more sensitive.
Some reasons why levels of these hormones may change include:
Vitamin C, protein, and vitamin B deficiency can lead to swollen and sore gums and other oral symptoms.
In some cases, making dietary changes may solve malnutrition. Lack of food availability and underlying medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, can play a role.
Oral thrush is a yeast infection in your mouth that can cause yellowish-white bumps to form on your cheeks, gums, lips, and tongue.
Oral thrush can also cause:
- sore or burning mouth
- cotton-like sensation
- a bad taste in your mouth
- loss of taste
Herpes simplex is a viral infection that can be passed between people and can cause cold sores in the mouth.
During outbreaks, you’ll experience painful sores that hurt to touch. The sores can appear on your lips, gums, or your palate.
A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that forms from a bacterial infection. They can form at the root of your tooth or in your gum.
The primary symptom is sharp pain. It can also cause swollen gums, bad breath, and facial swelling.
Some other causes of gum pain include:
It’s a good idea to visit a doctor or dentist if your gum pain persists for more than a couple of days and presents with other signs of gum disease, such as gum bleeding or gums peeling away from your teeth.
If you have typical symptoms of COVID-19 or if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, isolate yourself from others as much as possible. You should also seek immediate medical attention if you develop severe symptoms.
The best treatment for sore gums depends on the underlying cause.
|COVID-19||– Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated|
– Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe symptoms
|Thrush||– Oral antifungal medication|
– Thrush will often go away without treatment in healthy adults
|Oral herpes||– Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)|
– Stay hydrated
– Topical anesthetics
|Dental abscess||– Root canal |
– Removing the affected tooth
– Incision and drainage
– Antibiotics if the infection spreads
|Malnutrition||– Treatment to target the root cause of malnutrition|
– Dietary changes
|Hormonal changes||– Treatment of the underlying condition causing hormonal changes|
– Treatment to manage symptoms
|Canker sores/cold sores||– Often, treatment is not needed|
– Steroid mouth rinses
– Oral medications
You can minimize your chances for developing sore gums caused by gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends:
- brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- cleaning between your teeth once per day
- minimizing sugar and eating a nutrient-rich diet
- visiting your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease
Living a lifestyle that supports your overall health that includes enough sleep, a balanced diet, and minimal stress can help keep your immune system strong and minimize your chances for developing infections that may lead to sore gums.
You can help minimize your chances for developing COVID-19 by following prevention guidelines the
- get a COVID-19 vaccinewhen available
- avoid crowded areas and areas with poor ventilation
- wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer when soap is not available
- avoid contact with people with a recent COVID-19 infection
- stay six feet away from people not in your household
- wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth
COVID-19 can potentially lead to sore gums and other oral symptoms.
But there are also many other potential causes of sore gums. They’re unlikely to be a sign of COVID-19 unless you develop other common symptoms of COVID-19 such as a fever, fatigue, or a cough.