13 Shocking Causes of Unhealthy Gums

Gums will decide your overall oral health, as they support your teeth to stand. There are many causes of unhealthy gums, and also, there are many repercussions of unhealthy gums that would ruin your oral health.

Plague1 is one of the causes of unhealthy gums, as will further result in tartar. But there are many other causes of unhealthy gums that one should learn about. This article will help you get a brief knowledge about the causes of unhealthy gums.

1. A Little about Unhealthy Gums

Gums play a pivotal role in supporting your teeth to grow and are properly placed within the tooth surface. Your gums and bones that surround the teeth need special attention as these are necessary for your oral health.

Unhealthy gums
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It’s an arduous task to determine the causes of unhealthy gums without consulting a professional in the dental field. But still, a few causes would destroy your gums and would affect your teeth as well.

2. Causes of Unhealthy Gums

2.1. Plaque

Plaque generally built up in your gums obstructs your healthy gums and makes them unhealthy by hosting bacterial infections.

Unhealthy gums
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This plaque would tend to have many consequences for causing gum infection initially then causing gum diseases like receding gums and finally gum recession. The plaque would also be one of the causes behind Gingivitis2 (one of the most dangerous oral health diseases)

Brushing properly and going for a dental check-up would help maintain your oral health and prevent gum infections and diseases. You could also try deep cleaning to get rid of plaque and tartar.

2.2. Smoking

People who smoke daily will tend to have unhealthy gums. The habit of smoking will interfere with their gum tissue cells’ functioning, making their gums more sensitive to gum diseases.

Tobacco will ruin the health of your gums, making it easier for bacteria to spread infections. Tobacco also causes periodontal diseases3 and various harmful bacteria to affect your gums, making them recede and become weak.

Also, tobacco is extremely harmful to your physical health as well. So it is better to avoid chewing tobacco to protect your teeth and gums.

Unhealthy gums
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2.3. Hormonal Disturbances

Hormonal shifts or disturbances affect your oral health by making your gums unhealthy in some cases. Especially for pregnant women, menopause, and menstrual cycles (monthly) will cause hormonal imbalance making your gums unhealthy and weak.

But it doesn’t mean that if you are pregnant or going to irregular periods, you will have unhealthy gums. But the fact is that you need to take extra care to prevent unhealthy gums.

As, during pregnancy, your gums get inflamed and irritated sometimes. For that, you need to brush and floss regularly to maintain your oral health. Also, you may suffer from bleeding gums due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.

unhealthy gums
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Don’t worry and consult your doctor for a proper guide and advice.

2.4. Prescription Medicines

Few medicines would reduce your saliva production and flow which would cause your mouth to get dry. These conditions would host many bacteria that could affect your gum line and overall oral health.

For this, you need to consult your doctor before going for any prescription medicines.

Unhealthy gums
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2.5. Lack of Vitamin C

There are some nutrients required for your oral health. For proper oral care, you need to add vitamins to your diet daily.

Vitamin C is necessary for your gum health and to prevent unhealthy gums as it will boost your gum health by strengthening your mouth’s soft tissue. Vitamin C will also help in healing and preventing gums diseases such as Gingivitis.

Overall, vitamin C is pivotal for preventing unhealthy gums, and you can try consuming citrus fruits to fulfill the requirement of Vitamin C.

Unhealthy gums
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2.6. Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene is another important factor in keeping your gums and teeth healthy as it determines how clean your teeth and gums are. Unhealthy gums and tooth surfaces would call for many oral health problems.

It’s not that just brushing would do your work, but you have to clean it with proper toothpaste and application. Similarly, it would help if you tried doing a few other activities to maintain your oral health.

Unhealthy gums
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Some of these activities are:

  1. Floss your teeth regularly once a day
  2. Brushing regularly twice a day
  3. Use toothpaste with antibacterial properties
  4. Avoid drinking sugary drinks (rather drink a good amount of water)
  5. Clean your mouth (or brush) after eating a lot of sweets
  6. Use fluorides for your oral health care (as they are known to prevent cavities)

2.7. Crooked Teeth

Your teeth may overlap or be crooked as your mouth is a crowded area that will also cause misalignment problems4, which will invite plaque due to gaps created between teeth and gums.

Unhealthy gums
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Plaque would harm the health of your gums. So you need to do proper cleaning to prevent plaque from forming. The plaque would host many unhealthy gum diseases that would also result in tooth loss if left untreated.

2.8. Family History

Unhealthy gums can be hereditary and may come from any member of your family. It would help if you talked to your dentist about this; you might get a proper recommendation for gum problems.

2.9. Aggressive Brushing

Aggressive brushing is another reason for unhealthy gums. If you brush your teeth with more force than required, it will cause receding gums that will further cause gum recession5 and cause bacterial gum infections.

2.10. Diabetes

Many reports came up with the linkage between unhealthy gums and diabetes. It’s not that every diabetic patient will have unhealthy gums.

Unhealthy gums
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But people with diabetes should be more alert to protecting their gum health as their gums will not receive a good amount of blood supply which will also cause weak gums and unhealthy gums.

Also, due to high blood sugar levels, they will suffer from dry mouth, another reason for unhealthy gums. So, people with high diabetes (type-2 diabetes) should take extra care of their dental health, along with their physical health.

2.11. Improper Diet

A good balanced traditional diet is always advisable to keep your gums healthy. Don’t wait for the signs of gum disease, but always try to boost your health with nutrients.

Unhealthy gums
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There are a few nutrients that your body needs for good gum health.

Some of these are:

  • Dairy Products will build your gum health (Especially cheese for saliva production)
  • Greeb and black teas would be miracles for your gum diseases (to get polyphenols for preventing and cleaning plaque)
  • Chewing Gums (always choose chewing gums without sugars)
  • Flouride-rich foods (great for your teeth and gums)

2.12. Untreated Gum Problems

Unhealthy gums
Photo by- kuprevich/ Unlimphotos Copyrights 2020

There are a few gum problems that will not cause visible symptoms at the early stage. But they need to be treated. For example, if you ignore plaque formed, it will cause dangerous gum diseases, making your gum unhealthy. So it is always essential to take care of your gum health.

2.13. Hard Bristle Toothbrushes

You should be aware of what type of brush you are choosing. Try to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent unhealthy gums because a hard-bristled toothbrush will destroy your gums, causing them to recede or tear.

3. Remedies for Unhealthy Gums

unhealthy gums
Photo by Hana Lopez on Unsplash Copyrights 2019
  1. Green tea will help in keeping your gums healthy and will reduce inflamed gums.
  2. Hydrogen peroxide6 acts as an antiseptic to heal cuts and teras of gum tissue cells.
  3. Aloe vera for soothing effects and painful gums (swollen gums).
  4. Turmeric paste is a great antibacterial agent with healing properties and anti-inflammatory factors.
  5.  Salt water will help in reducing the infection caused to your gums.

These remedies will be helpful for treating gums. However, it is important to get a dentist’s help for damaged or unhealthy gums.

Read more about seven ultimate home remedies for Gingivitis.

4. In the End

Your gums play a very crucial character and supportive role in your mouth. To maintain your oral health, you should try to keep your gums healthy and bacteria-free. Many remedies will help in maintaining good gum health to prevent the fear of unhealthy gums.

5. Frequently Asked Questions

5.1. What are the signs of unhealthy gums?

The general signs of unhealthy gums are red, swollen, and bleeding gums, loose teeth, bad breath, and other uncomfortable sensations in gums.

5.2. How do I fix unhealthy gums?

Keep your gums healthy by following certain remedies (mentioned in this article) and seeking a dentist’s advice and help.

5.3. Does rubbing salt on gums help?

Yes! Salt and salt water help in reducing infection and cleaning the gums.

5.4. What food is good for healthy gums?

Eating nutrient-rich foods strengthens gums. For example, dairy products, green tea, food with turmeric, fluoride-rich foods, fruits, and raw vegetables for good gum health.

5.5. Is it OK to rinse with salt water every day?

It is advisable to rinse with salt water 3-4 times a week as too much salt, containing sodium, may impact teeth enamel negatively.

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A Helpful Guide To Dental Plaque
Icy Health
  1. Prentice, Michael B., and Lila Rahalison. “Plague.” The Lancet 369.9568 (2007): 1196-1207. ↩︎
  2. Page, Roy C. “Gingivitis.” Journal of Clinical Periodontology 13.5 (1986): 345-355. ↩︎
  3. Pihlstrom, Bruce L., Bryan S. Michalowicz, and Newell W. Johnson. “Periodontal diseases.” The lancet 366.9499 (2005): 1809-1820. ↩︎
  4. Kandil, Anwar, and Ebtisam Abdel-Gwad. “Effects of shaft misalignment on the stresses distribution on teeth of spur gears.” Port-Said Engineering Research Journal 18.1 (2014): 90-98. ↩︎
  5. Tugnait, A., and V. Clerehugh. “Gingival recession—its significance and management.” Journal of dentistry 29.6 (2001): 381-394. ↩︎
  6. Tredwin, C. J., et al. “Hydrogen peroxide tooth-whitening (bleaching) products: review of adverse effects and safety issues.” British dental journal 200.7 (2006): 371-376. ↩︎

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