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 periodontitis, requiring gum surgery.
The good news is, this issue can be fixed – by you, at home – in a few simple steps:
1. Apply anti-inflammatory dental gel
A hole on your gums is caused by an inflammation of the soft tissue (i.e. gingivitis). One of the best methods to soften any pain and fight the inflammation is to apply a dental gel on the surrounding tissue. There different options on the market, but we highly recommend our patients to use Pro Relief Dental Gel (formerly sold as “Super Relief Gel”). Just put a little bit of gel on a finger and apply it on the inflamed tissue. If you have pockets – space in between your gums and teeth – then make sure to apply it there as well. Apply the dental gel after brushing and don’t rinse; the gum tissue needs time to absorb the gel.
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. Flossing is probably the most important treatment to strengthen the overall health of your gums and thereby preventing these small holes from forming.
3. Brush your teeth – twice a day
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.
Clearly, what you eat and drink has a huge effect on the state of your oral hygiene. Cut down specifically on crispy and starchy food, such as potato chips and pizza. The crispy parts may damage your gums initially, while it’s easy for starchy food to get stuck in between your teeth, causing gingivitis. Cutting down on sugary drinks and snacks may help too.
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.
If you do give in to temptations, then rinse with a quick mouthful of water to prevent sugar and starch sticking to your teeth.
5. Visit a dentist and prevent periodontitis
If all the above fails, and you still have small holes in your gums, or bleeding gums, then go to the dentist or dental hygienist. If gingivitis is not treated, it can develop into a condition called periodontitis, which is a disease that can affect the general state of health of your entire body.
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.