7

votes

Had painful teeth cleaning at the dentist - what to do?

Commented on October 22, 2015
Created July 11, 2012 at 2:53 AM

I have asked a question before about how I noticed brown spots on my teeth in someplaces and thought they were cavities, and asked what I should do about them. Well finally today I went to the dentist and had an xray done. I have not had one done in over 2 years. Well turns out I have zero cavities. The problem is, the dentist that was there today(not my regular one, he was not there today) cleaned my teeth and I have never had a cleaning that was THAT painful. I dropped one tear and had to wipe my nose in the middle of cleaning lol. She was so rough(or it seemed that way). I was bleeding so much. So after she was done cleaning, she mentioned that my gums were bleeding and that I need to floss. My question today for you all is, why did my gums bleed so much, and what can I do that can help my gums heal. What is the proper way to floss? As always I expect some great answers from you geniuses lol.

D9c83d33f337dcd2b104349a7159e616

(0)

on October 22, 2015
at 04:24 AM

I know it's a good 3 years later, but I just wanted to thank you for asking this question. I had a very similar experience today, and wondered why. Thanks to your asking and the answers that followed, I know that it was neither my fault nor my dentist's fault; just nature, as I was financially unable to see a dentist for 5 years, (thankfully no cavities here, either! I feel VERY lucky for that! :) ).

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd

on July 14, 2012
at 01:45 AM

Courtney! what are your thoughts on Dr. Weston Price and his forward thinking back in the day?

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:54 AM

Just looked up Sonicare on Amazon. $100 for a tooth brush? Really?

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:39 AM

No, my gums never really bleed, but I go for cleanings every three months and I floss a lot. I think if you go for regular cleanings, it will get better faster.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:48 PM

Those are great toothbrushes. I have sublingual wire cemented to my lower incisors, and at my last cleaning I had quite a bit of build-up around the wire, despite flossing every night and brushing 2x a day. With the SonicCare, I don't see any whatsoever, and my teeth don't feel as abraded after I brush.

3d94686d427c69bf653813e0371cd2b6

(328)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:42 PM

@Soul - If you had your teeth cleaned a few months ago, perhaps it was a heavy handed hygienist then. "Banana Hands Joe" comes to mind :)

3d94686d427c69bf653813e0371cd2b6

(328)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:37 PM

@Jim B - I haven't read any of the literature on oil pulling yet. The only connection I can really think of regarding the decreased rate of plaque accumulation goes back to a lecture in dental school about eating fatty foods like cheeses and dairy that lend a protective coat of lipids to prevent the formation of the plaque pellicle. I would assume that pulling oil would act in much the same way, in retarding the growth of the dental pellicle.

3d94686d427c69bf653813e0371cd2b6

(328)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:35 PM

@Soul - I generally follow what my patients want. Some do not want silver amalgam fillings, others do not want x-rays, others do not want fluoride. I'd discuss it with your dentist, and tell them your reasons for not wanting the fluoride treatment, they will probably work with you on it. If my patient were Paleo/Primal and had a good history of being cavity free, I wouldn't be too worried about the lack of fluoride. The real reason for topical fluoride is the high frequency of carbohydrates of the SAD. Take that away, and you should be good to go for the most part.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:14 PM

Toothfairy, anything to this "oil-pulling"?

3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

(2369)

on July 11, 2012
at 12:26 PM

I'll second this one. My dentist is wonderful, but for about a year he had a hygienist that was sadistic. Several of my family members complained about her and finally I wrote a long letter to the dentist describing what she did. Apparently we weren't the only ones to complain - she was fired and the dentist apologized. I hardly ever have any plaque yet my gums would be so sore after she cleaned my teeth, I could hardly stand it. Now the dentist always does it and there is never a problem. She was just a butcher.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:46 AM

I oil pull from time to time, but I mostly forget, I did yesterday and now I will be sure to continue atleast 3 times a week if not everyday.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:45 AM

When your dentist does a cleaning that hurts, after rinsing your mouth is there ALOT of blood in the little "sink"? Sorry if that sounded gross lol.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:42 AM

Oh and I have a question for you that is kind of off topic. I told the dentist today and the assistant that they cant use fluoride on my teeth and they were fine with it but the assistant asked me why and if I had a sensitivity or something. I didn't know what to tell her, I froze and told her I didn't want to discuss it. My normal dentist knows I don't do fluoride. I don't know where you stand on this issue but when patients tell you they don't want fluoride what do dentists usually think?(not like it matters but Im curious)

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:36 AM

I will hopefully get my K2 supplement soon.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:33 AM

I've had my teeth cleaned a few months ago, definitely within this year. I had an xray before that though and never got one again until today. Lol I like your name by the way.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 11, 2012
at 03:15 AM

I love my dentist :-) That was a really great explanation.

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16 Answers

18
3d94686d427c69bf653813e0371cd2b6

on July 11, 2012
at 03:13 AM

Well, given that you said you haven't had an x-ray done in 2 years (I'm assuming a dental check-up) you probably have a lot of calculus/tartar buildup. Calculus is actually plaque (the sticky/furry feeling film on your teeth) that has been allowed to cake on for a long period of time. Bacteria are present in our mouth, and certain types (gram negative anaerobic bacteria to be exact) colonize the surface of the tooth and create a sort of mineralized structure (like a coral reef) from minerals in your saliva. Usually dentists recommend getting a cleaning at least once a year to remove calculus, particularly in the front lower teeth, and the upper back molars (where salivary ducts are present). Most people collect a decent amount of calculus over time, although I'm not exactly sure how the Paleo diet plays into calculus accumulation.

I am guessing that since the calculus had built up, the hygienist/dentist had to remove a larger than usual amount of calculus (and therefore needed to use more force, possibly the ultrasonic cleaner to remove it). The gums become sensitive when calculus accumulates in the area, due to the fact that the calculus is considered an irritant, and the gums become inflammed. Over time, the gums actually become diffuse and soft, and bleed easily due to the localized inflammation from calculus, plaque, and bacteria.

Now that you've cleaned the excess calculus from your teeth, your gums should return to normal in as little as five days, and the bleeding should stop, and the sensitivity should go away. The oral cavity is actually a very quick-healing place, due to the high level of vascularity present.

I am glad to hear you don't have cavities! Due to the omission of grains and sugars in your diet (as well as the decreased frequency of consuming food), you probably won't have another cavity in your life (theoretically speaking). I have found a decreased rate of plaque buildup on my own teeth since going Paleo, and I find that I rarely pull out very much when flossing (maybe a stray fiber of chicken or chard). With regular yearly dental cleanings, you should be able to sustain your teeth in a healthy state for a long time!

I am a dentist (boo! hiss!). Yes, I think that if everyone went on a Paleo lifestyle I'd be out of a job for the most part. I haven't yet told a patient to go Paleo to save their teeth yet, mostly because I think they'd view me with even more suspicion than they do now.

D9c83d33f337dcd2b104349a7159e616

(0)

on October 22, 2015
at 04:22 AM

Thank you so much for this thorough answer! I just had the same experience today as the original poster, (which is how I arrived here; thanks Google!), and wondered what was up. I, too, had no decay, but unfortunately, due to lack of insurance and lack of money, I had not been able to see a dentist for 5 years. The dentist today mentioned several times that my teeth were very clean, white, and pretty, and so I wondered; why the heck did I bleed? I've never bled from the dentist before. I floss every day, (twice a day, if I get something caught in my teeth, like bits of apple or pineapple, etc). 

Well, your answer explained it all! It seemed like she was really having to scrape hard to get the plaque that was there off, and now knowing that gums are sensitive around areas of build-up, even with how well I take care of my teeth, there was probably just no way around it.

 

Also, I wish to replace the "boo! hiss!" with "cheer! yay!", for dentists who care, and expecially to one who is so passionate about their field and helping people that they would go online, off-hours, and answer a question like this. Thank you. Seriously, you rock. :)

 

Sadly, I am unable to digest most 'land meat', but I have been shifting away from starches and sugars, favoring more seafood, fruits, and veggies, (heck, I'd seriously try eating bugs, if only I could find them properly prepared in the USA, haha! :D ).

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:33 AM

I've had my teeth cleaned a few months ago, definitely within this year. I had an xray before that though and never got one again until today. Lol I like your name by the way.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 11, 2012
at 03:15 AM

I love my dentist :-) That was a really great explanation.

3d94686d427c69bf653813e0371cd2b6

(328)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:42 PM

@Soul - If you had your teeth cleaned a few months ago, perhaps it was a heavy handed hygienist then. "Banana Hands Joe" comes to mind :)

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:14 PM

Toothfairy, anything to this "oil-pulling"?

3d94686d427c69bf653813e0371cd2b6

(328)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:35 PM

@Soul - I generally follow what my patients want. Some do not want silver amalgam fillings, others do not want x-rays, others do not want fluoride. I'd discuss it with your dentist, and tell them your reasons for not wanting the fluoride treatment, they will probably work with you on it. If my patient were Paleo/Primal and had a good history of being cavity free, I wouldn't be too worried about the lack of fluoride. The real reason for topical fluoride is the high frequency of carbohydrates of the SAD. Take that away, and you should be good to go for the most part.

3d94686d427c69bf653813e0371cd2b6

(328)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:37 PM

@Jim B - I haven't read any of the literature on oil pulling yet. The only connection I can really think of regarding the decreased rate of plaque accumulation goes back to a lecture in dental school about eating fatty foods like cheeses and dairy that lend a protective coat of lipids to prevent the formation of the plaque pellicle. I would assume that pulling oil would act in much the same way, in retarding the growth of the dental pellicle.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:42 AM

Oh and I have a question for you that is kind of off topic. I told the dentist today and the assistant that they cant use fluoride on my teeth and they were fine with it but the assistant asked me why and if I had a sensitivity or something. I didn't know what to tell her, I froze and told her I didn't want to discuss it. My normal dentist knows I don't do fluoride. I don't know where you stand on this issue but when patients tell you they don't want fluoride what do dentists usually think?(not like it matters but Im curious)

8
C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd

on July 11, 2012
at 03:17 AM

I switched to SonicCare electric brushes 3-4 years ago (before Paleo). My check ups improved 100%. VERY little bleeding. I floss at least once a day, sometimes two. Really "hook" 4-6 times in between teeth!

Check out Dr. Weston A Price, the dentist from 100 years ago and his issues with "modern" foods - sugars and grains. Insightful. Now it's the Weston Price Foundation stuff.

Give that hygenist an earful next time!! Good luck!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 11, 2012
at 01:48 PM

Those are great toothbrushes. I have sublingual wire cemented to my lower incisors, and at my last cleaning I had quite a bit of build-up around the wire, despite flossing every night and brushing 2x a day. With the SonicCare, I don't see any whatsoever, and my teeth don't feel as abraded after I brush.

6
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 11, 2012
at 03:08 AM

It sounds like you really needed that cleaning. You may not have cavities, but it sounds like you have gingivitis.

Whenever I have a "pocket of inflammation" by a tooth, in my gums, my dental hygienist (I have a regular one who does my cleanings) warms me she wants to clean it out and it hurts like how you describe.

I would definitely leave your gums alone for a few days to heal, then start flossing on a regular basis. I always floss twice or even three times and I still get food particles out on the third try!

Also, I use one of those Oral-B electric toothbrushes and my teeth get sooo much cleaner!

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:39 AM

No, my gums never really bleed, but I go for cleanings every three months and I floss a lot. I think if you go for regular cleanings, it will get better faster.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:45 AM

When your dentist does a cleaning that hurts, after rinsing your mouth is there ALOT of blood in the little "sink"? Sorry if that sounded gross lol.

4
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:04 AM

I second the suggestions to get an electric toothbrush. They really are superior to the manual kind. However, I'll also say that some hygienists have much worse technique than others. I've gone to some that are butchers and have destroyed my gums for weeks, to the point that I couldn't chew at all. Maybe the substitute you saw just wasn't that good?

3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

(2369)

on July 11, 2012
at 12:26 PM

I'll second this one. My dentist is wonderful, but for about a year he had a hygienist that was sadistic. Several of my family members complained about her and finally I wrote a long letter to the dentist describing what she did. Apparently we weren't the only ones to complain - she was fired and the dentist apologized. I hardly ever have any plaque yet my gums would be so sore after she cleaned my teeth, I could hardly stand it. Now the dentist always does it and there is never a problem. She was just a butcher.

4
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 11, 2012
at 03:29 AM

Now that your teeth are clean I would add a K-2 supplement to your diet to keep the plaque down, and start doing oil pulling to keep your gums healthy and make any plaque that shows up soft enough to brush or floss away without much work.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:36 AM

I will hopefully get my K2 supplement soon.

3
Dbb8666905796a86f1dba08860555756

on July 11, 2012
at 03:25 AM

Hi Soul!

I am a third year dental student, studying to receive my Doctorate of Dental Surgery. What you described sounds like gingivitis or the beginning of periodontal disease. My recommendation is to improve your oral health by brushing twice daily, and flossing once daily. If you can't brush or floss after eating, swish your mouth real well with water. And the proper way to floss is to see-saw the floss back and forth to gently pull it down to your gingiva. Make sure to scrape the mesial and distal of each tooth with the floss. Obviously I don't have to talk to you about keeping your frequency and duration of oral carbohydrate exposure low. As that is something I must discuss with most my patients. Good luck, let me know if this helps!

-Courtney

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd

on July 14, 2012
at 01:45 AM

Courtney! what are your thoughts on Dr. Weston Price and his forward thinking back in the day?

2
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on July 11, 2012
at 03:36 AM

Sonicare. GET ONE. Love mine.

Also if your gums are that inflamed then you (very likely) have a high level of generalized inflammation. Many people do. Good news is that there's a lot to do for that.

I recommend you consider getting your Cardiac CRP level checked as this is a great marker for following inflammation - baseline and improvements.

Also, look into Ubiquinol. I take a ton for my Hashimotos but I know people who have been helped greatly when they took it for gum disease or swollen gums.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:54 AM

Just looked up Sonicare on Amazon. $100 for a tooth brush? Really?

2
5249df0c1098a8ea4607cc305f0cbdcf

on July 11, 2012
at 03:30 AM

Try Oil Pulling + Flossing


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_pulling

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 11, 2012
at 04:46 AM

I oil pull from time to time, but I mostly forget, I did yesterday and now I will be sure to continue atleast 3 times a week if not everyday.

1
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on July 12, 2012
at 11:32 AM

Next time you go, gargle/swish with saltwater a few days before and after the cleaning. I have done it for years, and it helps the inflammation to calm down, especially if you had a particularly "aggressive" cleaning!

1
34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on July 11, 2012
at 12:31 PM

I didn't see a dentist for about 10 years while my husband was in the Marine Corps. We were too poor for me to afford to pay out of pocket and none of the area dentist offices accepted the military dental plan (this was about 15 years ago). Needless to say that by the time I did get to a dentist, my mouth was a mess. We also ate terrible food so I'm sure that was part of the problem. I had some pockets that were 6, my gums bled every time I brushed. So I have periodontal disease but after a few years of quarterly cleanings and some antibiotic strips inserted into the worst of the inflamed pockets, it's pretty much under control. I use the Sonicare toothbrush also and I floss once or twice a day and I see the dentist every 3 months instead of every 6. My gums don't bleed anymore and my worst pockets are down to 3-4's.

0
F07f5778d69b6f63a32ed356b68db3d1

on January 13, 2013
at 05:32 PM

Proper way to floss would be NOT to floss between your teeth, but underneath your gums in front of the tooth. Proper gum care is always advised.

0
77dc88a12b912fe47c88ab6edb8a9785

on November 03, 2012
at 01:49 AM

Find a dentist and /or hygienist who knows what a topical rinse and oraquix are....cleanings should never hurt even if you have gingivitis or periodontitis....inhumane and counter productive if your afraid to go back. The days of being hurt for your own good are long over....

0
392dd68370a6ccd3730193ca30d8411b

on August 23, 2012
at 03:59 AM

i never had too much blood at all during a cleaning and I attribute this to ubiquinol and vitamin c plus other good supplements however my dentist did the cleaning and went "deep" he said..for the first time i am tasting a mild taste of blood everyday and poor breath in morning which i never had since this cleaning.i am very disappointed in this cleaning as i never had this problem ever. i will try hydrogen peroxide and sea salt and increase c intake but apparently he went too far perhaps he was angry at something that day probably worried about business because people cannot afford dentists crazy prices and are not going.. and in nyc the rents are so high for business that they feel it all the time working for the landlord still i am disappointed this was the outcome

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 12, 2012
at 07:50 AM

Going paleo really helped my gums, i was getting "pockets" (soft/recessed gums) but that totally went away with the change in diet.

I suspect that sugary foods and starches don't hurt your teeth by just causing bad stuff to stick to your teeth, but by generally weakening your body and how it protects and maintains your teeth, i.e. i think there is an internal component too. The work done by Weston Price is really fascinating, such as looking at the teeth and gums of identical twins, one of which stayed hone and ate the traditional diet, the other of which went to the mainland and ate the modern diet, and the former had great teeth and gums while the latter had terrible problems.

That said, in my last cleaning (which i do every 6 months) i had quite a bit of tartar built up behind my front bottom teeth. This might be age related (i am 42) or some aspect of my diet, but the hygenist really had to work on it to get it clean. I can only imagine how it would have been after 2 years. I admittedly have somewhat lax dental hygeine, maybe i should get one of those new fangled tooth brushes...

0
E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on July 11, 2012
at 11:53 AM

Check out the OraWellness system. Has worked wonders for my gums.

-1
02886ac2229a9fea24dc1be87620bc72

on November 06, 2012
at 11:04 AM

Bleeding gums can be a sign that you are at risk for, or already have, gum disease. However, persistent gum bleeding may be due to serious medical conditions such as leukemia and bleeding and platelet disorders. It is important to follow the instructions from your dentist in order to maintain healthy gums. Improper brushing and flossing technique may actually irritate or traumatize the gum tissue. Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with. Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth.


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