Yes, it is as bad as it sounds. The main cause of those small holes in the gums is a disease called gingivitis. The medical name for gums is gingiva – which how gingivitis gets it’s name. If left untreated, this condition can worsen and turn into an even more serious problem called periodontal disease, which is when a gum problem turns into a teeth root problem!
Although both of these require a visit to your dentist’s office, there are a few at home treatments you can use, but don’t rely on them to resolve the issue altogether.
What causes these holes to appear?
Before we get to the solution for them, let’s talk about why they appear in the first place. The main cause of gingivitis is, generally speaking, a bad dental hygiene. In case you haven’t been brushing and flossing regularly, that potentially could be a reason you’re suffering from certain dental issues.
Although the bacteria presence in our mouth is completely normal, when they are not removed often enough, they can cause only so many problems in your oral cavity, like tooth decay for example, and many others, leading ultimately to gum damage.
As bad as it is, it’s not so bad until it progresses into periodontitis.
Great news is that gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene, however, without dental treatment, it can, and it will, progress further, which can ultimately lead to teeth loss.
Even before the holes appear, some other symptoms precede them. Those include classic signs of inflammation, such as swollen gums, change in their color to bright red or even purple, tenderness and painful to touch gums, bleeding gums and bad breath, also known as halitosis.
The best way to treat gingivitis is to stop it from happening in the first place, which can be easily done with good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day, as well as rinsing your mouth is always a great way to start!
One of the most effective ways of removing bacteria, along with food debris and plaque, from your mouth is flossing your teeth with water. Although very effective, dental floss sometimes isn’t enough to get rid of all food particles that are stuck deep between your teeth. Water picks can fix that issue quickly, and they are especially effective for people who have had dental work done or are wearing braces, where maneuvering floss in between teeth can be very tricky.
Although they can vary in shapes and sizes, what they have in common is that they all cause a stream of pulsating water to flow from the reservoir, through the end of the device and right into your mouth. Besides removing plaque buildup, food debris and substantial amount of bacteria from your mouth in a way that’s way more effective than traditional flossing, another great benefit is that they stimulate gum tissue by pulsating effects. And although this is all very good, it’s important to note that as effective as water flossing is – it’s not a replacement for brushing your teeth.
Our bodies most definitely reflect how and what we eat, so it’s no wonder that the same can be said for our gums and teeth.
One of the biggest reasons for damaged gums are sugary, acidic, carbonated drinks. They can wear off the outer layers of anything very quickly, leaving them open to further damage. Same goes for sugary, acidic foods.
This one is the easiest to control and what’s best – it’s completely up to you. For example, switch soda with water and switch candy with healthier snacks, like nuts or raisins. If you can’t help yourself, brush your teeth right after you consume these, to get rid of the debris they leave behind.
Another great thing to incorporate in your diet is green tea, because research shows that it can reduce the risk of various gum diseases! Of course, food that is good for the rest of our body is also very good for our gums as well. Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber are never a wrong choice because they stimulate our immune system to fight the bacteria, which is another good approach to the gingivitis situation.
Vitamin C is also a great way to go, as it stimulates our immune system and research shows that it can improve the health of our gums drastically. Whether in it’s natural form, or in a form of a supplement, additional intake of vitamin C can be a great way to fight off the infection.
Although regular toothbrushes are doing a very good job on their own, an electric one can do so much more for people suffering from dental issues. For example, if you’re already affected by plaque, then an electronic toothbrush can be a great way to remove it more effectively, due to it’s oscillation movements.
Many electric toothbrushes also have a timer, regulating the time that you spend brushing your teeth, and what’s even more important, a sensor that ensures you’re not using too much pressure while brushing.
Besides being one of the biggest factors in causing the gum inflammation, smoking also weakens your immune system, making it way harder to fight the bacteria and a potential gum infection. If you find it hard to quit, take baby steps and try reducing the amount of cigarettes you smoke as much as you can, and work your way towards quitting completely.
Regular dental cleanings
Yeah, this is not really at-home method, but it’s very important to note here, since regular cleanings mean you’ll have a lot less to do at home by yourself, and no matter how well you clean your teeth – a professional can definitely take that job to another level, all while spotting any potential issues in their early stages.