For the past year or so, I've often felt like I've been flossing too hard between my #2 and #3 teeth (back, top two molars sans wisdom teeth).
I go to the dentist twice a year, and have asked him about it and I basically get a "well you're flossing too hard" response. Around the time this started, I was told by the dentist's assistant that there was a plaque buildup back there, but hasn't mentioned it since (I started using mouthwash and flossing more frequently to remedy it).
I floss, brush, and mouthwash regularly, but the "flossing too hard" feeling is still there. Of course, if I floss too hard as a result of it, I get a feedback loop on the pain. It's livable, but annoying.
Any ideas what it is, and what can be done for it? Could it be subgingival tartar that I'm just doing a good job of controlling, so the dentist doesn't notice it? Or what?
Ask the dentist to do a bite-wing x-ray if you haven't had it done in the past 6 months. The x-ray will show detail structure of the bone if there is any deterioration of the bone at the gum line area. If the bone look normal, you may just have gingivitis.
You should floss every time after eating (doesn't matter what you eat). The proper way to floss is to gently pass the floss through contact point between 2 teeth, wrap the floss around the contour of the tooth you want to floss and slide your floss up and down. Make sure that the floss is in contact with the contour of the tooth at all time. This way you will not damage the surrounded gum area. when finish, pull the floss out on the side to the cheek area.
If the dentist doesn't want to take an x-ray or answer your questions, it might be a time to find a new dentist.