Painful & red gums


Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
2
Yesterday, my gums started hurting slightly in one spot near my back molars. For the past year I've been brushing my teeth 0-1 times a day and eating ~1000 calories a day because of really bad mental health issues, and so my oral hygiene is extremely poor right now. However, I'm not in a very stable financial position, so I don't want to go to the dentist unless it's really necessary. I was hoping to gain some insight as to what might be going on and what I should do about it.

Here's a picture of what it looks like: I apologize in advance; I know my mouth and teeth look very, very gross. I'm trying to get better at taking care of my teeth but I'm worried that it's already too late.

Some other details that may be relevant are that:
1. My cheeks and inner lips peel when I wake up and sometimes just randomly throughout the day. This has been going on for a few months.
2. I have bad breath even after doing proper brushing, flossing, and mouthwash rinsing. This has been the case for many years, not just this past year.
3. My tongue has always had lots of white stuff (I'm assuming it's bacteria) on it, no matter how much I've scrubbed at it.
4. I may have a mild allergic reaction to something that's common in a lot of foods (my best guess is a type of processed sugar), and so after eating almost any type of food I will get lots of mucus buildup in my throat and at the back of my mouth.
5. I have had acid reflux since I was a kid. For a few years it got to the point where I would throw up in my mouth multiple times a day, but fortunately that isn't often the case anymore. When this happened as a kid, I would not rinse my mouth with water afterwards.
6. I have been on a medication that causes dry mouth for around 5 months now.
7. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I'm not totally sure if that's relevant but I'm including it just in case.

I also wanted to ask: I recently bought 3% hydrogen peroxide to use to whiten my teeth. I'm worried now though that it may make whatever is happening with my gums worse. Should I still use it or no?
 
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Dr M

Verified Dentist
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
440
Solutions
106
Good day

Firstly it is never too late to start looking after your teeth. I would hold off with the tooth whitening for now, until some of the other issues are sorted out first.
The white coating on your tongue, might be because of the medication you are on. Dry mouth can lead to all sorts of fungal infections taking hold, and it is therefore wise to drink a lot of water, and chew sugar-free gum, in order to stimulate salivary flow. Saliva is the natural cleanser of the mouth. If the white area persists, it might be that you have an underlying fungal infection already, and for this you would need anti-fungal treatments. But it is best to visit your dentist, so that this can be evaluated clinically.

Bad breath could be associated with the acid reflux. I would visit a medical doctor for this issue. They need to investigate the cause of the acid reflux, and then treat it accordingly. Continuous acid reflux, can lead to severe dental erosion, which in turn leads to yellow teeth, due to enamel loss, and sensitivity.

Furthermore, brushing 0-1 times a day is not enough. Poor oral hygiene habits lead to plaque build up, caries formation and gum infections, that can be appear to be more painful in certain areas. The fact that you suffer from dry mouth, worsens this. If left untreated, this could lead to a condition called periodontitis, which might end up in tooth loss.
I think it is a good idea to go see your dentist, for a full evaluation, so that all the issues can be addressed and a treatment plan can be set in place.

It is never too late to start taking your oral health seriously.
 
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Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
2
Good day

Firstly it is never too late to start looking after your teeth. I would hold off with the tooth whitening for now, until some of the other issues are sorted out first.
The white coating on your tongue, might be because of the medication you are on. Dry mouth can lead to all sorts of fungal infections taking hold, and it is therefore wise to drink a lot of water, and chew sugar-free gum, in order to stimulate salivary flow. Saliva is the natural cleanser of the mouth. If the white area persists, it might be that you have an underlying fungal infection already, and for this you would need anti-fungal treatments. But it is best to visit your dentist, so that this can be evaluated clinically.

Bad breath could be associated with the acid reflux. I would visit a medical doctor for this issue. They need to investigate the cause of the acid reflux, and then treat it accordingly. Continuous acid reflux, can lead to severe dental erosion, which in turn leads to yellow teeth, due to enamel loss, and sensitivity.

Furthermore, brushing 0-1 times a day is not enough. Poor oral hygiene habits lead to plaque build up, caries formation and gum infections, that can be appear to be more painful in certain areas. The fact that you suffer from dry mouth, worsens this. If left untreated, this could lead to a condition called periodontitis, which might end up in tooth loss.
I think it is a good idea to go see your dentist, for a full evaluation, so that all the issues can be addressed and a treatment plan can be set in place.

It is never too late to start taking your oral health seriously.
Thank you so much. I've started brushing 2 times a day and am going to try working it up to once after every meal. I'll also try drinking more water and chewing sugar free gum. I'll definitely visit my dentist soon! Thank you so much for the advice, I really appreciate it.
 

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