Discovering that you have holes in your gums can be a shock, and well it should be. It is a sign of a serious condition called gingivitis, a form of gum disease. It occurs when poor oral hygiene results in a build up of plaque, which is a thick film of harmful bacteria. If left untreated, the bacteria will creep under your gums causing gingivitis. This can escalate to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontal disease, which will require gum surgery. Fortunately, you can prevent the problem form escalating to this by following a few simple steps at home.
Anti-inflammatory gel gingivitis
Gingivitis is an inflammation of your gums, and can be very painful, especially if it has escalated to the point where you have a hole in your gums. This pain can be alleviated by applying dental gel to the affected area. There are many versions available today, but we recommend Pro Relief Dental Gel, previously marketed as “Super Relief Gel”, to our patients. After brushing your teeth, simply put a dab of gel on the end of your finger and rub it onto the inflamed tissue. If you notice your gums sagging away from the sides of your teeth you should apply the gel there too. Wait a while before rinsing your mouth, eating or drinking. The gel needs time to absorb into your gums.
Prevent and treat gum holes by flossing regularly
Many people brush twice a day but rarely if ever floss. Not flossing daily is probably the number one cause of gingivitis. The hard to reach parts of your teeth need cleaning just as much as the parts that your toothbrush can reach. A few minutes after you brush your teeth, a fresh biofilm of bacteria begins to form on all the surfaces of your teeth. If plaque or bits of food remain in the nooks and crannies, this will only accelerate the process. Left on its own, that biofilm becomes new plaque. That plaque causes gingivitis and thereby the hole in your gums. Therefore, flossing is the best thing you can do to ensure the health of your gums and prevent those painful holes.
Brush your teeth two or three times a day
In fact, three times would be even better. Hard toothbrushes get the plaque off better but can damage your gums. Stick with medium. Besides flossing, brushing your teeth regularly is the most indispensable way you can prevent gum disease. If you can, go for an electric toothbrush for extra-thorough cleaning, although a standard toothbrush is perfectly fine too. Some electric toothbrushes even have sensors to manage your brushing time and the pressure you apply.
Make minor improvements to your diet
Eating right is absolutely vital for maintaining good oral hygiene. First, good nutrition keeps your immune system in top shape. Sugar is the enemy of your general health and the health of your teeth. Try to reduce sugar intake as much as possible. A sweet tooth is a dead tooth. Any time you eat something sweet, even orange juice, rinse your mouth out with water to prevent the bacteria on your teeth from feeding on the sugar and going on a growth frenzy.
If after applying the dental gel and improving your oral hygiene for a few days you still have small holes in your gums, or if your gums are bleeding, go see your dentist.
Besides, make sure you’re booked for your biannual visit to the dentist for routine cleaning. Your teeth need a professional clean and fluoride bath to restore them. It also gives your dentist a chance to identify and fix any problems with your oral health before it’s too late.
If gingivitis is allowed to escalate into periodontitis, you will be in serious pain and require serious treatment.
Periodontitis happens when dental plaque extends deep down behind the gums where the tooth is held into the bone. The bacteria in the plaque start to degrade the connective tissues holding everything in place. Not only can this be very painful, but the pathogens can find their way into your bloodstream. From there they can cause problems like diabetes and heart disease. The National Health Service in the UK reports that gum disease has also been linked to dementia and complications during pregnancy. Regular brushing and flossing not only prevents awful little holes in your gums, it can ensure you continue to live a happy, rewarding life.