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Gums

Why Does Eating Apples Hurt My Gums?

My bottom gums hurt after I tried eating an apple. I think they even bled a little bit. It really hurts for me to take a bite into an apple. Why does eating apples hurt my gums?

This is a common question we get a lot and as it turns out, there are 2 main reasons why eating an apple can hurt your gums:

  1. The apple peel on the outside of the apple is pressing up against your gums, causing pressure and pain.
  2. You may be allergic to apples (or a chemical sprayed onto the apple).

Let's tackle each one individually to see how to prevent gum pain when eating an apple. We'll focus on the pain that comes from the apple peel pressing up against your gums because there is little that can be done if you're allergic to an apple.

How to Prevent Gum Pain from Eating an Apple

  • Cut the apple up into small pieces - instead of biting directly into the apple, cut it up first so that your gums don't have to push as hard into the side of the apple into the peel.
  • Consider mushing or blending the apple first - essentially this removes any hardness from the apple and is defacto making your own applesauce.
  • Wash the apple with soap and water before eating - you may be allergic to a chemical that has found it's way onto the apple rather than the apple itself.
  • Visit your local dentist to review your gums - it could be that you have sensitive gums, Gingivitis, or some form of periodontal disease that makes your gums swollen, sore, or sensitive.

If you're in the Indianapolis area and you suffer from sensitive gums, consider Dr. Reese at Indianapolis Dentistry. He's a holistic, sedation dentist who treats people who are afraid of the dentist. Call 317-882-0228 to setup an appointment so you can get back to eating apples like nature intended.

Apple Hurts Gums
Apple Hurts Gums

How to Save Your Gums from Yourself

Receding gums can not only be painful, but they can affect your smile, and can eventually lead to tooth loss. When we study what causes gums to recede we find that sometimes it's our own behavior that's causing the issue. Ouch. Here's what we found. Recessed Gums

Aggressive Brushing

For me it was brushing too hard with a hard toothbrush. I started to feel that 'notch' between root and the crown as the gums receded away from the gum line. The exposed root started to hurt and kind of itch. Sometimes it even felt infected. I went to Dr. Reese who treated me with ozone therapy and then I started oil pulling with coconut oil."

Sometimes in the act of trying to keep our teeth clean we end up damaging our gums unintentionally. Thankfully there's some things we can do to stop the behavior that's causing gums to recede from bad brushing habits:

  • Use your non-dominant hand - your dominant hand can be unintentionally pushing too hard
  • Use a child's toothbrush instead of an adult toothbrush - it's usually smaller and softer
  • Brush in circles instead of side to side near your gums - this is easier on your gums

Gum Disease

My parents have a history of gum disease so I knew I had to take extra care to not eat too many sugary drinks and be sure to floss and stuff, but you know, I didn't do that. I used to drink at least a 32 oz. cup of soda every morning on the way to work and then not brush my teeth until the evening. Eventually my gums pulled away and started hurting."

Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession and studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth. Fortunately there are treatments for this:

  • Pocket reduction surgery to remove tarter from under the gums  - gums are lifted back and the tarter is removed
  • Soft tissue grafts - if gums have receded too far, tissue can be taken from other areas and grafted into your gums
  • Guided tissue regeneration - utilizes barrier membranes to direct the growth of new bone and gingival tissue

No matter how bad your gums are now, you still have options. Don't be afraid to have a dentist look at your gums to see what sort of treatments can help you prevent further recession or to help repair the gums that have already receded.

What Causes Receding Gums?

Receding gums is a common but potentially dangerous dental problem. One must know what causes receding gums so they can understand how dangerous the condition can be and prevent it from happening. It is also easily treatable if detected early – simply changing dental habits may stop the condition from becoming worse. What Causes Receding Gums

Most people don't realize they have receding gums because it occurs gradually. One usually notices that his or her teeth have become sensitive and they can feel a notch (indentation or incision) near the gum line. These are usually the early signs of receding gums.

Receding gums, also known as gum recession, is the process in which the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth's root. When gum recession occurs, "pockets," or gaps, form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. A receding gum line can eventually lead to lost teeth over time if it isn’t stopped or treated.

What causes receding gums?

  • Periodontal disease - Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession.
  • Genetics and Gender - Studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth. Fluctuations in female hormone levels, during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause for example, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.
  • Aggressive tooth brushing and incorrect dental care habits - This can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede. Using hard-bristled toothbrushes can also hurt your gums.
  • Inadequate brushing and flossing makes it easy for plaque to turn into (tartar) — a hard substance that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning — and when this builds up on and in between your teeth, it causes gum recession.
  • Smoking - Smokers are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove, which can cause gum recession.
  • Teeth grindingBruxism can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede.
  • Crooked teeth or a bad biteMalocclusions put too much (wrong) force on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.

Receding gums can be treated

Gum recession is not something you want to ignore. If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with your Dr. Reese. There are treatments that can repair the gum and prevent further damage.

Dr. Reese has been utilizing a Waterlase MD laser for tooth preparation and gingival treatments. This laser has a variety of extremely thin tips that can deliver laser energy into the diseased sulcus to disinfect the area of gum disease, remove smaller amounts of the diseased gum tissue, provide an atmosphere of improved healing, and offer a much less invasive and less painful recovery period. The diseased root surface is also treated by the laser energy to allow regeneration of the gum connective tissue to re-grow up the root surface which has been the ‘last frontier’ of regenerative periodontal therapy. These procedures are especially indicated in smokers who heal less favorably, and suffer more from gum disease than non-smokers.

If you are in the Indianapolis or Greenwood, Indiana area, call 317-882-0228 so you can schedule an appointment today!

One of the Best Kept Secrets in Cosmetic Dentistry

If you've ever wondered what cosmetic feature you could change in your appearance that would have the biggest bang for your buck, it might just be a small procedure you've never heard of called gum contouring. Gum Contouring

Sometimes called "gum lifts" or "crown lengthening", gum contouring is done to reduce excessively gummy smiles or to even out an irregular, uneven gum line. It may be hard to believe, but by simply changing the amount of tooth exposed can dramatically improve the overall appearance of your smile.

While it may sound painful to have work performed on your gums and surrounding tissue, laser therapy coupled with local pain medication and optional sedation methodologies makes for a calm experience with immediate results, creating the appearance of more attractive and normal-shaped teeth.

Gum Grafting

While most cosmetic gum contouring is reductive, meaning that gum tissue is taken away, some times gum tissue is added to improve the overall appearance and this is called gum grafting.

What proportion of gum to tooth is best? There technically are "golden rules" of 1 to 1.618 on average, but it's really more of an art and one that Dr. Reese enjoys doing. That's part of the reason he got into dentistry.

What causes receding gum lines? Age, over-brushing, and disease can all cause gums to recede. The term, "long in the tooth", means that a person is older because gums naturally recede over time, but disease and hard brushing can accelerate the process. Gum grafting is the only way to reverse it as gums do not grow back on their own.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

When you think of maintaining your health, do you ever think of your teeth and gums as an integrated part of your whole body? While it may seem secondary, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is important because periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to a host of "systemic" problems. Oral hygiene is "more than a feeling," and it's not just a cleaning anymore. Periodontal disease can affect the health of your whole body because the bacteria from your gums can spread throughout your body, with or without dental procedures.

Bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontal disease have been linked to the following health problems:

  • Bacterial pneumonia   Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Artery blockages
  • Stroke
  • Low-birth-weight and pre-term babies

Preventing and controlling periodontal disease is very important. Here are some tips on how to prevent or control periodontal disease:

  • Brush your teeth with toothpaste thoroughly twice a day to help prevent decay.
  • Clean thoroughly between your teeth daily with floss or another interdental method.
  • For extra help controlling plaque, we can recommend an anti-microbial mouth rinse.
  • Schedule routine oral hygiene check-ups.

Since many people don't know that they have periodontal disease, it's a good idea to make an appointment with our office so Dr. Reese can check your teeth and gums. If you have one of the conditions listed above, or it runs in your family, this is especially important. For advanced cases of periodontis, we have periodontic services and are able to provide periodontal surgery all in one office. Please call 317-882-0228 to give us the pleasure of providing you with outstanding preventive dental care! Sincerely,