Teeth hurt after Flossing?

Teeth Hurt After Flossing?

Teeth hurt after flossing!? Flossing should help your teeth to be healthy, not to hurt your teeth. When you have healthy teeth and gum and flossing with proper technique, your teeth should not hurt.

So, when you experience sensitivity, bleeding, swelling, discomfort, etc., after flossing, you should be cautious and take professional help. In this article, we will discuss all the possible causes of teeth hurt after flossing. Check what can be the probable cause for you.

Causes of Teeth Hurt After Flossing

There are several reasons that cause teeth hurt after flossing.

New at Flossing-

When we are new at flossing, we may hurt our teeth during flossing. Mastering the actual technique of flossing takes time and a lot of practice.  When we are new at flossing, unintentionally, we floss too hard, injure the gums. As a result, gum pain and gum bleeding occur.

So if you are new at flossing, it is highly recommended to slow down and take your time during flossing. Earlier, you grab the proper flossing technique; easier it will be for you to get rid of teeth hurt after flossing.

If you have been flossing for a long time and still the problem persists, you may have other dental issues. Keep reading to know what is the reason for teeth hurt after flossing in your case.

Sensitive teeth-

Pain is a relative term. Certainly, an unwanted personal feeling. Tooth pain is not an exception. Pain can be mild, moderate, or severe based on the intensity of pain. When we have sensitive teeth, we can feel pain, but sensitivity not always be that extreme here. But sensitive teeth are definitely bothersome. This sensitive teeth can be a reason for teeth hurt after flossing.

Why do sensitive teeth occur? There are a lot of reasons, and one of the reasons is too hard brushing or flossing.

Sensitivity of teeth can occur during flossing. Not only that, when we consume hot or cold food or beverage, then also we may experience sensitivity of teeth. Whatever the reason for your sensitive teeth, for all of us, sensitive teeth occur when the enamel of teeth wears off, and the nerves that lie inside are exposed.

Your dentist can help you to get rid of tooth sensitivity. There are many toothpaste and mouthwash that are specifically made for sensitive teeth. But if the cause behind your sensitive teeth is not resolved, then using those products is not a solution for the long run.

For example, suppose your sensitive teeth are due to a cavity. In that case, a simple restoration can help you get rid of teeth sensitivity. When one gets rid of teeth sensitivity, teeth hurt after flossing usually go away if sensitive teeth was the reason behind teeth hurt after flossing.

Tooth decay- 

Tooth decay is a common problem in the general population. When harmful bacteria build up in our mouth due to inadequate flushing of saliva, poor oral hygiene, then chances of tooth decay increase.

When we try to floss the area of teeth that is already decayed, it causes pain. Flossing is done in the space between the teeth. This area between teeth is more prone to tooth decay; many times, due to inadequate visibility, we do not know that teeth are starting to decay.

When we feel sensitivity or pain, we get to know that something goes wrong in that area. So flossing itself is not the sole cause for tooth hurt in this region; the tooth was unhealthy before, and due to flossing, the condition becomes worse. So teeth hurt after flossing can be as a result of tooth decay.

Gum disease- 

Gum disease is also a very common issue. Many of us experience bleeding gum, bad breath, etc. But after taking proper oral care (like brushing gently twice daily, flossing once, etc.), gum problems usually go away. Flossing is very beneficial to make our mouth clean; as a result, chances of getting gum problems reduce too.

But what happens if you already have an existing gum problem and you are doing flossing? In this case, you feel your teeth hurt after flossing, but actually, it is a pain from the gum. Our mind can not differentiate if the pain starts from the gum or teeth as these two are closely associated. So we feel teeth hurt. Should we do flossing in this case?

The answer is yes. Flossing is a healthy measure to remove harmful bacteria, debris, etc., from your teeth. Suppose you have already existing gum problems like inflammation of the gum, bleeding gum, etc. In that case, most commonly, it is due to poor oral hygiene.

Flossing will help you to maintain good oral hygiene. Indeed, improved oral hygiene will reduce your gum problems. But you should do flossing judiciously, taking care not to injure your gum. Remember, proper flossing is always beneficial, not harmful.

Loose dental restorations-

Many times, loose dental restoration is a potential cause of teeth hurt after flossing. Our old restorations in the mouth may crack with time and can cause sensitivity.

So when you do flossing, you may experience sensitive teeth. Here the problem is already persisting; flossing is not directly related to tooth hurt.

The only solution to this problem is to replace your old restoration with a new one. Thereafter you will not experience teeth hurt after flossing. Simple, right!

Braces and retainer-

Flossing becomes difficult if you have braces and retainers. Commonly braces and retainers create difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene. As a result, the sensitivity of teeth may occur. Also, chances to injure the adjacent gum increase when you have braces and retainer.

So teeth hurt after flossing is related to inadequate oral hygiene maintenance and injury to the gum. Flossing improves oral hygiene. So proper practice of flossing usually resolves the issue.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is of utmost important, especially when you wear braces and a retainer. Initially, it is difficult to practice flossing in this case, but you will be used to the flossing technique with time. So keep the hope! Eventually with proper flossing technique, you will experience no teeth hurt after flossing.

Rough and hard toothbrush-

Only tooth brushing and flossing is not enough. Choosing the right toothbrush is also very important. If your toothbrush is faulty, it may invite additional issues. These issues can lead to teeth hurt after flossing.

A toothbrush can be of three types- soft, medium, and hard.

You first need to know which toothbrush is suitable for you. Choose the toothbrush that can effectively remove your debris, coat from teeth without hurting the gum. Do not scrub too hard. It can result in wear off your enamel.

So gently brush your teeth. A stiff toothbrush, if used improperly, can cause sensitive teeth, so after flossing, your teeth may hurt. Here teeth hurt after flossing is not related to flossing but related to improper brushing. So do the flossing and follow the instructions of your dentist.

5 Essential Tips For Painless Flossing

Regular flossing with proper technique is helpful to reduce gum disease and teeth disease. The following tips may help you additionally to get relief from teeth hurt after flossing

  1. Ideally, you should floss once per day and brush twice per day after taking major meals. But make sure you are flossing regularly with proper technique.
  2. Never ever use other items such as fingernails, safety pins, cutlery, etc., to remove or clean food from the space between teeth. It is not only unhygienic; it may damage adjacent structures. Always use floss to clean the area in between teeth.
  3. Gently floss your teeth. No need to apply too much force. Slowly do the flossing and follow the instructions of your dentist.
  4. It is essential to floss under the gum line. But again, do it gently and slowly. Otherwise, injury to the gum can occur.
  5. Choose the floss that you are comfortable with. If you feel discomfort, choose soft and gentle coating floss. 


Don’t quit. Taking oral care is very important, and flossing is a part of it. After trying many times, if you still find it hard to do the flossing, then it is better to consult with a dentist if teeth hurt after flossing. Because there are many reasons that can cause teeth hurt after flossing and treatments are different for individual. Alternatively, If your teeth hurt after flossing, you can try alternative method like water pik at home.

The main motto of flossing is to remove debris, impacted food, studded bacteria from the area where brushing bristles can not reach. Flossing is a healthy measure to make your teeth healthy. Be healthy and stay happy.


  1. Newman and Carranza’s Clinical Periodontology
  2. Cohen’s Pathways of the Pulp
  3. Grossman’s Endodontic Practice
  4. British Dental Association Library Journal

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