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Gums Peeling: Causes and Preventions

Apr 1, 2024Oral health, Periodontics

Did You Experience Gums Peeling?

Are you experiencing peeling gums? It is possible that it might indicate an underlying health issue.

Many people do not fully appreciate the importance of the tissues surrounding our teeth. It is important to recognize that our gums are just as important as our teeth in assessing our oral health. Additionally, they demonstrate our overall state of well-being.

Studies have shown a significant correlation between gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, and serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Furthermore, individuals with gum disease, which affects a significant portion of the American adult population, have a heightened risk for specific cancer types and Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people tend to ignore or dismiss the bleeding or peeling of their gums after brushing, even though they are aware of it. The mindset is to consider oneself in good health as long as there are no cavities. However, these seemingly insignificant issues may be indicative of a serious problem. By ignoring these issues and hoping they will go away on their own, we unintentionally allow them to worsen and become a greater threat to our overall well-being.

What are Peeling Gums?

The term “Peeling gums” accurately describes the process occurring in your mouth. You may notice small pieces of tissue shedding from your gums and the inside of your cheeks. It does not cause discomfort. It is possible to find oneself unintentionally chewing or swallowing them.

What Causes Gum Peeling/ Sloughing Gums?

Gum peeling is not a common occurrence, but it doesn’t always indicate a serious problem in your mouth. The cause of oral mucosa shedding can vary and may be resolved by switching toothpaste or may require a biopsy performed by an oral surgeon.

Peeling gums can be caused by reactions to substances individuals come across during the day, or it can be a sign of an underlying condition resulting in the shedding of gum tissue due to an immune response.

Skin peeling caused by sunburn or rash is usually a one-time event. If you experience continuous peeling of gums or other oral mucosa, such as inside the cheeks or the roof of the mouth/palate, it is recommended to consult with your dentist.

Here are eight common causes that may result in the peeling of your gum tissue, although this list is not exhaustive:

1. Your Toothpaste

When informing your dentist or hygienist about your peeling gums, their first response is to ask about the toothpaste you use. If the toothpaste you use has a low pH level, is abrasive, or contains certain substances like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), you are more likely to experience gum peeling and frequent shedding of oral tissue. If your gums start to peel shortly after brushing your teeth, it may indicate a possible issue with the toothpaste you are using. In such cases, it may be beneficial to try a toothpaste that does not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).

2. Gingivitis

Gingivitis is often characterized by inflamed and swollen gums, commonly accompanied by bleeding. In some instances of gum infection, the tissues near your teeth, specifically at the gum edges, may occasionally peel, particularly when irritated by brushing. Taking immediate action is important to prevent gingivitis from worsening into gum disease. It is advisable to promptly address your gingivitis to avoid any complications.

3. Smoking and Tobacco Use

Tissue sloughing and ulceration can sometimes occur as a result of tobacco products. Stomatitis, an irritation in the roof of the mouth, often occurs alongside changes in oral tissue pigmentation. Among smokers and users of smokeless tobacco, there is a high prevalence of precancerous tissues and the presence of white patches.

4. IBS or Chron’s Disease

Oral sores and alterations in mouth tissues can occur as a result of intestinal issues, as there is a connection between the mouth and digestive tract. People with Crohn’s disease often have irregular cobblestone patches in their mouth. Furthermore, individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are more likely to experience swollen gums and lips.

5. Whitening Products

The use of teeth whitening strips and gels can cause gum irritation and increased sensitivity as they contain bleaching agents. Improper use of these products can cause tissue burns and peeling of the protective oral mucosa, similar to what can happen with acidic toothpaste. To prevent any issues, it is important to avoid the product coming into contact with your gums when applying it. One possible method to accomplish this goal involves decreasing the quantity of gel utilized in your whitening trays, as it has the potential to reduce the likelihood of spills.

6. Orthodontic Appliances

After getting braces, it is common to experience discomfort and irritation in your oral cavity. It is possible for these areas to experience some peeling. If experiencing pain, orthodontic wax may provide temporary relief, offering a short break.

7. Lichen Planus (LIE-kun PLAY-nus)

White plaques can develop in the mouth as a result of oral lichen planus. This condition can cause itchiness, crustiness, flakiness, and occasional discomfort. Although it is not contagious, its persistence requires effective management in consultation with a healthcare professional.

8. Precancerous Tissue or Oral Cancer

It is important to monitor oral cancer screenings if you have a persistent mouth sore that does not heal and continuously sheds skin.

Prevent Peeling Gums

To prevent skin or gum peeling, choose a toothpaste without SLS and select gentle oral care products (avoid those with alcohol). Maintain good oral hygiene by following your dentist’s guidelines for cleaning and removing retainers or dentures. Be aware of potential triggers of mouth peeling, such as certain foods, dental product brands, or concurrent physical symptoms. Having awareness is important because it allows you to identify the factors that cause gum peeling and make the necessary changes in your daily routine to prevent it from happening again.

Contact Our Redlands Dental Office!!

We invite you to visit our Redlands dental clinic. Our skilled professionals provide high-quality care and services. We are excited to meet you and help with all of your dental needs!

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