Besides obviously being visually unappealing, cut up gums can be quite painful and can take quite some time to heal. This is actually a pretty common dental issue and it can have a number of different causes. A lot of times, cut up gums, especially very close to your teeth can be a result of very aggressive flossing. Eating sharp foods, such as chips, and wearing mouth jewelry is also a very common cause for this. Although they can heal by themselves, if they don’t seem to be healing normally, which usually takes no longer than two weeks, or if they are more serious (gaping cuts or bleeding ones), try seeing your dentist as soon as possible, to prevent worsening the situation.
Why are healthy gums important?
How often do you actually think about the health of your gums? Most likely not too often, most of us usually focus on more pressing issues, but what’s important to note is that unhealthy gums can affect your overall health. It’s been proven that people with healthy gums have lower risk for cardiovascular disease, which is something that is very important in today’s day and age. They are made of soft skin and their main role is to cover the bone tissue, or the root, of your teeth, forming a tight seal around them, protecting them from bacteria and basically holding them in place. Besides physical damage, gums can also be affected by plaque buildup, which can cause their inflammation – a disease known as gingivitis.
If we don’t take good care of our gums, a very common dental issue that can happen due to that is gum recession. Most people are not even aware of this problem, that is until it’s too late, because it happens so gradually. The gums are pulling back very slowly, leaving the roots of our teeth exposed. This can lead to severe damage of the support and bone tissue of our teeth, and ultimately to teeth loss, which is something nobody wants.
What do healthy gums look like?
Healthy gums usually have a color that is most often described as coral pink. Other coloration, such as dark red, white and blue can be an indication for inflammation or other pathological processes. Slight variation in color is definitely possible, due to blood flow to the gums and natural, genetic, pigmentation.
What causes cut up gums?
As we already mentioned, there can be a number of different causes for this, and the most common one is using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard, or the improper brushing technique. First of all, it’s very important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. As opposed to the popular opinion, you don’t actually need a brush with harder bristles to remove plaque and tartar buildup, soft-bristled one will do the job just as well and reduce the risk of cutting your gums up. Even medium bristled brushes can irritate your gums, so to be on a safe side – go for a soft-bristled one, and if you need help in choosing, feel free to ask your dentist for an advice.
Another thing causing damage to our gums is often the improper brushing technique. When brushing, it’s very important to use gentle, circular motions to remove food debris and plaque from the teeth. What you should never do is apply extra pressure when brushing, since this doesn’t really do anything for your teeth besides damaging the outer layer and irritating gums. If you need help or you’re not sure how to properly brush your teeth, you can always ask your dentist for help or even look up a YouTube video on the subject.
And the third most common reason for cut up gums is gingivitis, also known as gum disease. Gingivitis can cause the gums to become irritated and swollen, making it way easier to damage them during brushing or flossing. Besides, of course, visiting your dentist, because gingivitis is a disease that needs professional attention and antibiotics, you can try rinsing you mouth three times a day with warm salt water.
What can you do to help you gums heal more quickly?
In case you’re feeling unbearable pain, you can try applying anesthetic gel on your gums, which also helps in preventing any further damage. Recently, due to it’s healing and pain-relieving properties, experts started recommending aloe vera, and it’s direct application to the cuts. Don’t forget to switch to a soft-bristled brush in order to avoid any further damage and perfecting your brushing technique which might be pretty different from what you’re used to, and although that habit is quite hard to break, it’s very important to put in active effort and start brushing properly.
You should also take in consideration other factors that can cause your gums to be irritated, such as smoking. Smoking half a pack a day increases the risk for gum inflammation up to three times, while smoking a whole pack increases it up to even 6 times. Eating a healthy diet is definitely a big plus, since foods rich in essential nutrients suppress the inflammation process, especially omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fish. And of course, regular dental check-ups and cleanings, as that will remove harbored bacteria, as well as tartar and plaque buildup.
Generally speaking, we don’t think about our gums too often, which is a thing that needs to be changed. For many above stated reasons, having healthy gums is very important and if you suspect that there might be something wrong with them – react immediately, just to avoid any further complications and save yourself some trouble.