52 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
What Makes the Gums Feel Sore?
Healthy gums fit tightly around the teeth and help to hold them strongly.
Healthy gums also cover and protect the bone under them.
Healthy gums are pink in color, or
even blue or dark yellow in some people.
But healthy gums are never red.
Healthy gums are pointed between
the teeth. This lets food slide away and
Healthy gums fold under, making a
little pocket around the tooth.
As we saw with the last activity (p. 50), when you have ‘colonies’ of germs
on your teeth, they can make acid that makes holes on your teeth. The same
coating of germs can make a different acid that makes the gums sore. This
also happens when food mixes with the coating on your teeth. Soft food
is the worst kind, because when it mixes with spit it sticks more and stays
longer on your teeth. Juice from tea, betel nut, and meat color this food,
making the tooth look dark.
Healthy gums become sore because of acid. When the coating on the
teeth (p. 50) becomes hard, it is called tartar. Tartar can hurt the gums.
Also, the ‘colonies’ of germs can make a coating on top of tartar more
easily than on a clean tooth. When the colonies are new, they make more
acid which causes tooth and gum problems. After 24 hours, it hardens
and makes a new layer of tartar. The tartar gets bigger and bigger.
Sore gums are infected.
Infected gums are red
and bleed easily.
Infected gums are round and
swollen between the teeth.
They are also loose instead of
tight against the teeth.
Here is a larger picture of the
teeth in the box above:
Infected gums have a deep gum pocket which catches even more food.