Cut On Gums: Causes, Symptoms, And How To Promote Gum Healing

cut on gum

In this article, we will explain what does cut on gum means, what causes it, what are the symptoms, and how to prevent and treat it.

Have you ever experienced a cut on your gums? If you ever had then you know how painful and annoying it can be. It can happen more easily and unexpectedly than you might think.

This can occur as a result of hard brushing, flossing too vigorously, eating spicy foods, or using a non-dental object such as a toothpick that you use to remove the food from your teeth. If not treated properly, it can also increase the risk of infection.

Before understanding that let’s first learn a little about gums.

What are cut on gums?

A cut on the gum, also known as a gingival laceration, is a break in the soft tissue that covers the jawbone and surrounds the teeth. It can range in severity from a minor nick to a deep gash, and the cause can vary as well.

Gum is the pink tissue that surrounds your teeth and anchors them in place. It’s like a living seal that protects your teeth from bacteria and helps prevent food debris from entering the roots. Healthy gums are firm, pale pink, and don’t bleed easily.

Signs of Cut on Gum

The signs include:

  1. Bleeding from the gums
  2. Pain or tenderness
  3. Sensitivity
  4. Swelling or redness around the cut
  5. Difficulty eating or speaking
  6. Visible laceration in the gum tissue
  7. Discoloration of the cut

Causes of cut on gums

There are various causes of cuts on gums, ranging from everyday occurrences to more serious accidents and underlying conditions. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the main categories:

1. Brushing too hard.

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing with excessive force can irritate and damage the gums, leading to cuts.

2. Flossing incorrectly.

Improper flossing techniques, like using too much force or sawing motions, can also cause gum cuts, especially in areas with sensitive or inflamed tissue.

3. Dental procedures.

Some dental procedures, such as fillings, crowns, or extractions, may cause minor gum cuts as a side effect.

4. Eating.

Biting into hard foods like ice, candy, popcorn kernels, or even certain fruits and vegetables with sharp edges can cause cuts.

5. Gingivitis.

This inflammation of the gums can weaken the tissue, making it more prone to cuts and tears.

6. Vitamin deficiencies.

Deficiencies in vitamin C and other nutrients can weaken the gum tissue and make it more susceptible to cuts.

7. Mouth piercings.

Oral piercings can irritate and injure the gums, especially if not properly cared for.

8. Falls or accidents.

Blunt-force trauma to the mouth, like a fall or a hit, can cause cuts or deeper lacerations to the gums.

9. Sports-related injuries.

They can result from collisions or blows to the mouth when playing contact sports like football, hockey, or rugby.

Related: Uneven Lips: Causes and Exercise To Fix Naturally

Preventing cuts on gums


There are many ways to prevent your gums from cuts but the best way to is to practice good oral hygiene and protect your mouth from injuries.

Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss your teeth regularly.
  • Avoid biting on hard objects.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
  • Wear a mouthguard during contact sports.

Can you get an infection from a cut?

Yes, you can definitely get an infection from a cut on your gum. Your mouth is teeming with bacteria, and any break in the skin (including the delicate gum tissue) can provide an entry point for these microorganisms.

The risk of infection is higher if:

  1. The cut is deep or extensive: Deeper cuts provide more surface area for bacteria to colonize.
  2. The cut is dirty: Cuts caused by objects like dirty fingernails or rusty objects carry a higher risk of infection.
  3. You have poor oral hygiene: Poor brushing and flossing practices allow bacteria to build up in your mouth, increasing the risk of infection in any injured area.
  4. You have a weakened immune system: Conditions like diabetes or HIV can compromise your immune system’s ability to fight off infection.

Signs and symptoms of an infected gum cut:

  1. Increased pain and swelling around the cut.
  2. Redness and pus discharge from the wound.
  3. Bad smell while breathing or foul taste in the mouth.
  4. Fever and swollen lymph nodes.

Treatment and cure of receding gums

In most cases, minor cuts on the gums will heal on their own with home care. Here are some steps you can take to treat a gum cut at home:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water or you can use a mouthwash. This will help to clean the wound and prevent any kind of infection.
  • Apply gentle pressure to the cut with a clean gauze pad or cloth to stop the bleeding. Hold the pressure for 10-15 minutes.
  • Use a cold compress on the outside of your cheek to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Avoid touching or picking at the cut. This can slow down the process of healing and increase the risk of infection.
  • Eat soft foods that are easy to chew until the cut heals.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth gently to keep the area clean and prevent further irritation.

Can you eat spicy food if you have a cut on gum?

Generally, it’s not recommended to eat spicy food if you have a cut on your gum. Here’s why:

Reasons to avoid spicy food with a gum cut:

  1. Increased pain and irritation: Spicy food contains capsaicin, a compound that triggers the “heat” sensation in our mouths. This can irritate and inflame the already sensitive tissue around your gum cut, leading to increased pain and discomfort.
  2. Slowed healing: The capsaicin in spicy food can also disrupt the healing process by interfering with blood flow to the affected area. This can prolong the time it takes for your gum cut to heal properly.
  3. Risk of infection: Open wounds like gum cuts are more susceptible to infection. Spicy food can further irritate the tissue, making it more vulnerable to bacteria and increasing the risk of infection.

Can you brush my teeth if you have a cut on my gums?

Whether or not you can brush your teeth with a cut on your gums depends on the severity of the cut and your individual situation.

Generally, it’s safe to brush your teeth gently if the cut is:

  1. Minor: Small nicks or tears that cause minimal bleeding and discomfort.
  2. Superficial: Only affecting the surface layer of the gum tissue.
  3. Healing well: Showing signs of improvement, like reduced swelling and bleeding.

However, you should avoid brushing directly on the cut if it’s:

  1. Deep: Extending beyond the surface layer of the gum tissue.
  2. Bleeding heavily: Causing significant blood flow.
  3. Painful: Brushing triggers significant discomfort.
  4. Infected: Showing signs like redness, pus, or swollen lymph nodes.

Alternatives to brushing:

  1. Saltwater rinses
  2. Flossing

How long does it take for a gum wound to heal?

The healing time for a cut on the gum can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the cut:

  1. Minor cuts: Small nicks or tears usually heal within 3-4 days without requiring any special care.
  2. Deeper cuts: May require stitches and take 1-2 weeks to heal completely.
  3. Uninfected cuts: Heal faster than those with infection.
  4. Infected cuts: Take longer to heal and require treatment with antibiotics.

When should you see a dentist for a cut on the gums?

If you have a cut on your gums that is:

  • More than half an inch long
  • Caused by a rusty object
  • Bleeding that does not stop after 10-15 minutes of pressure
  • Accompanied by severe pain, fever, or pus
  • Not healing after a few days

Please see a dentist or doctor immediately. They can provide further treatment to prevent infection and promote healing.

The Bottom Line

Cuts on the gums are a common oral injury that can occur for a variety of reasons. Most cuts are minor and heal on their own with home care. However, some cuts may require medical attention.

To prevent this, you should practice good oral hygiene and protect your mouth from injuries. To treat it, you should rinse your mouth with cold water and salt water, apply pressure and ice to the wound, avoid irritating foods, take pain relievers if necessary and if necessary you should see your dentist.

By following these steps, you can promote gum healing and prevent infection.

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