Gum Health FAQs

man pulling bottom lip to expose tooth gums

Northside Dental Clinic in Springfield, Missouri offers a friendly environment for dental care

In today’s post, we answer a few frequently asked questions about gum health and gum disease

Why do my gums hurt? 

Gum pain or increased sensitivity could be a result of brushing your teeth too hard, a bacterial infection, complications from infected teeth (tooth abscess), or, for women, hormonal changes from a period, pregnancy, or menopause, which swells the gums. 

If the gums behind your molars hurt, it may be due to the wisdom teeth partially erupting through the gums, thereby causing a bacterial infection to develop. This is known as pericoronitis.

How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)? 

Most people who have gum disease don’t know about it because the initial stages are painless. But later on, symptoms can include swollen or puffy gums, bad breath, painful chewing, pus between gums, and gums that easily bleed. 

How do I prevent gum disease? 

Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits can prevent gum disease.  

How do I improve gum health naturally? 

Floss daily, brush twice a day, get soft or extra-soft bristles, and visit your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup. For more natural gum health remedies, offers a great list of tips. 

Is chewing gum good for gum health? 

Sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production which maintains a healthy plaque biofilm, deterring plaque from building up.

What foods are good for gum health? 

Water, tea, dairy, nuts, whole grains, sugar-free gum, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Does gum disease cause other problems? 

Yes. Similar to your intestines, your mouth is filled with oral microbiomes, bacteria that filter through your entire body via your bloodstream and saliva. Gum disease, if left unchecked, can lead to other degenerative issues. 

According to the Mayo Health Clinic, other conditions can arise from poor oral health: 

  • Endocarditis. This is a bacterial infection to the inner lining of the heart.
  • Pneumonia. Bacteria in your mouth can move to your lungs, causing respiratory issues.
  • Birthing complications. Research shows a link between periodontitis and low birth weights or premature births. 
  • Cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate that heart disease, clogged arteries, and strokes may be linked with infections caused by oral bacteria

Can gum health be restored? 

Gum health can be restored through proper dental habits, like daily flossing and brushing, and a good diet of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. 

Why are my gums swollen?

Inflammation of the gums can be due to bacterial infections, like gingivitis or periodontitis, or from a dry mouth, poor diet, lack of oral hygiene, or dental tools that irritate the gum line.

How are swollen gums treated?  

Drink more water, brush and floss gently quit using alcohol or tobacco, and place a warm compress on your face to lessen gum pain. 

For extreme cases of gingivitis, you may need surgery, namely scaling and root planing. If your gums remain swollen for over two weeks, talk to your dentist. 

Why are my gums bleeding?

You may have gingivitis, a condition caused by plaque collecting between and on your teeth. Sometimes it’s caused by medications, brushing too hard, or not having a flossing routine.

How to stop bleeding gums?  

Speak to your dentist as soon as possible. They will advise a treatment method to stop gum bleeding. On a daily basis, you should work to brush your teeth (especially around the gum line), floss, use mouthwash, and visit your dentist regularly. 

Why are my gums receding? 

Genetics, vigorous brushing, physical wear of the gums or inflammation of the tissue, misaligned teeth, or damage from a prior dental treatment are all potential causes of gum recession. 

Can gums grow back? 

Recessed gums won’t grow back on their own. Periodontal surgery is needed. This procedure involves gum grafting, taking soft tissue from the top of your mouth, and grafting it onto your gums. 

Get a Gum Health Checkup at Northside Dental

If you’re having difficulty with your gums, be it increased sensitivity or bleeding, our friendly dental hygienists and dentists at Northside Dental Clinic in Springfield, Missouri can help with treatment. 

Call us today at (417) 862-2468 to schedule your appointment.