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Here's Why Your Gums Hurt When You Eat Hot Food

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For most people, eating or drinking hot food and beverages is a pleasure during the cold months of the year. Unfortunately, that's not the case for everyone. If trying to eat or drink something hot makes your gums hurt, that could mean that you have an oral health issue. Here's what you should be concerned about.


For most people, if you're experiencing pain in your gums when you consume something hot, it likely indicates that your gums are inflamed.

When the tissues of any part of your body become inflamed, it irritates the nerves in that region. Anything that touches those nerves typically sends a pain signal, much like how it hurts to touch a bug bite. So while you might normally be able to consume foods of a certain temperature, it could be painful now because you have a pre-existing condition going on with your gums.

Gum Disease

The most likely culprit behind inflamed gums is gum disease. Any phase of gum disease, from gingivitis to periodontitis, can cause your gums to become swollen, irritated, and inflamed. Gum infections can potentially spread, too, so if you had pain in one part of your gums with hot food and now more of your gums hurt, your condition may be worsening.

Gum disease is a big deal and shouldn't be ignored. Untreated gum disease can not only lead to potential tooth loss but it could also allow bacteria to spread throughout the body where it could cause additional harm.

If you've had these symptoms for a while or are having other signs of gum disease, like bleeding gums, redness, receding gums, or pain at other times, you need to visit a dentist. They can quickly help you get the treatment you need to reverse your condition.


In some cases, people can actually hurt themselves with food or drink that's too hot. It's not common, but the inside of your mouth is sensitive to extreme heat just like your skin and other tissues are. Long-term exposure to these temperatures could potentially harm your mouth. If your dentist doesn't find evidence of gum disease, try dialing back the temperature on your food and see if that helps.

Gum disease can make you more susceptible to temperature shifts in your mouth from eating food. If you're having pain or discomfort while trying to eat food of any temperature, you should visit a dentist like John S. Lyon DDS to find out what's going on with your oral health.