What If You Have Holes in Your Gums?
Holes in your gums are a sign of an oral condition called gingivitis, where poor oral hygiene leads to a build-up of plaque and harmful bacteria. If the problem is not addressed, these harmful bacteria can find their way deeper into the space between the gums and the tooth and cause parodontitis, requiring gum surgery.
The good news is, this issue can be fixed – by you, at home – in a few simple steps.
Brush your teeth twice per day with a soft toothbrush, without applying too much pressure on the gums. This advice has been around for decades and although it might seem earth-shatteringly obvious, it’s one of the simplest and quickest ways to stop and prevent gingivitis. Dentists often recommend electric toothbrushes but a standard good-quality toothbrush is perfectly adequate. An electric toothbrush has the advantage of having sensors, preventing you both from brushing too long and with too much pressure.
Flossing might seem a bit unnecessary but any dentist will tell you that it is a vital part of good oral hygiene. Flossing reaches the places your toothbrush can’t. Those tiny bits of food that get stuck between the teeth are the critters that cause the build of plaque and bacteria which in turn lead to…You guessed it…Gingivitis.
Clearly, what you eat and drink has a huge effect on the state of your oral hygiene. Ensuring you are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals from good food will mean your immune system will do what it does best, fighting infection and disease. Cutting down on sugary drinks and snacks will help too.
If you do give in to those sweet temptations, rinse with a quick mouthful of water to prevent sugar sticking to your teeth.
If you find that after following the simple steps above, you still have tiny holes in your gums, or bleeding gums, a visit to the dentist is your next step.
While it might not be anyone’s idea of a fun day out, twice-yearly visits to your dentist will reveal any problems with the condition of your teeth and gums. And they can be fixed before any further damage is done.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can develop into a condition called periodontitis, a disease which has more serious consequences not only for your oral health but for your general health.
Periodontitis occurs when plaque finds its way deep into the space between the gum and the tooth and the bacteria begin to break down the tissues that support the tooth. This in itself is unpleasant but research has shown that if left untreated, harmful oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause more serious problems, including heart disease and diabetes. Britain’s National Health Service writes that gum disease has also been linked to problems during pregnancy and conditions such as dementia.
So brushing your teeth not only prevents horrid little problems like holes in your gums, it also helps keep the rest of your body in tip top condition.