Concerns about Gums

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Toddler with bleeding gums

July 2007

Hi, Recently my two year old started complaining while we were brushing her teeth and when I looked in her mouth I noticed her gums were bleeding in the front where she already has her teeth (meaning not where she would be teething). I waited a few days for it to pass, but it seems to be getting worse. She totally freaks out when we take out the toothbrush and says she has an owie in her mouth after we attempt to brush her teeth. We called the dentist who said they can't really do anything since she is so young and we go to her pediatrician tomorrow, but I was wondering if there is anybody else who had this experience? I found very little information online (other than very scary stuff), but other than the gums, she seems healthy and happy. Anybody have any ideas? Sarah

is it just gingivitis? are you brushing her teeth twice a day with toothpaste? maybe this is too simple an answer. just an idea, but i am a health professional and bleeding gums is often associated with gingivitis. make sure you are brushing those gums well. anon

I would take her to a pediatric dentist and see what they say. We like Katsura, Wampler, et al. in Berkeley.

Black spot on baby's gum

March 2007

Dear BPN-ers, please help and tell me that there is nothing to worry about. My 9-month-old daughter has a black spot on her gum! She has two front teeth already. The spot is not in the front. It is somewhat halfway towards the back, on the lower left side of her mouth. I noticed it about a month and a half ago. A month ago we showed her to our pediatrician, who didn\x92t have an answer. She recommended to wait. The spot was kind of black-blue and felt swollen. It didn\x92t seem to bother my daughter though. We saw a different pediatrician again a couple of days ago. She didn\x92t really know either. She said it could be a bruise, broken blood cells from teething, birthmark, or\x85cancer. She referred us to The Children\x92s Hospital. We called them but they can see us only in 3 months! Her gum looks pretty much the same after all this time. It\x92s a little greener and the swelling might have gone down a bit. Mostly I feel like it\x92s going to be ok, but I get so worried at times. Please share your experiences, if you have them, if for no other reason than to help ease my young mother\x92s mind! Thanks.

I don't think you should have to wait 3 months worrying about what it is on your baby's gum. I suggest you contact a local pediatric dental office (i.e. Katsura) and have them look at it. Dentists are fully capable of evaluating gum problems. If you explain the situation, you should be able to be seen really quickly. The odds are great that it is nothing serious. Lori Berlin

Have you considered taking your child to a pediatric dentist? You mentioned Children's Hospital Oakland--I'm not sure if you were talking about their dental program. There are also several other pediatric dentists in the East Bay. In El Cerrito, my kids see Dr. Edward Matsuishi. Ask your dentist for a recommendation as well. A kids' dentist will be able to easily diagnose the problem. madelyn

I would take her to the dentist. ASP

A few years ago, I had a black spot on my gum as well. It took several weeks and several different doctors (dentist, internist, dermatologist, ENT..) to diagnose it. It was very frustrating - even a biopsy came up inconclusive! I was finally seen at the oral medicine department at UCSF who told me black spots on gums are one of two things (other than a bruise!); Addison's disease or peutz jaeger syndrome (both of which are very rare). Turns out I have Addison's (which is totally manageable and not life threatening). Please take your baby to an Oral Medicine doctor (not a dentist) - the closest department I think is the one at UCSF (they were great!). Hope it turns out to be nothing! Good luck!

I know it's not customary, but do you have a dentist that you trust who would be will to have a look? anon

Early stages of gum disease at 35

Aug 2003

I'm 35 years old and already have early stages of gum disease. I've been seeing my dentist for cleanings every 3 months, and have seen a periodontist intermittently. I'm scheduled for a root planing in a couple months. I'm concerned because I already have some bone loss in my teeth, and as both my dentist and periodontist have told me, I'm young to be experiencing this. They tell me that it is hereditary (my dad has bad gums too) and that the hormones involved with pregnancy and breastfeeding (I've been pregnant or breastfeeding for most of the past four years)for some reason make gum disease worse. My question is, has anyone had similar experiences and found any alternative or homeopathic remedies that have helped them to have healthier gums? Has anyone found that a change of diet has helped in any way? Thanks in advance for any advice. Don't Want to be Toothless at 40

Genetic testing of hereditary periodontal disease (PD) is available. It only applies to rapidly progressing types that hit earlier than yours. You can learn more about it, however, in the series under dentistry (Dr. John Brooke). Meanwhile, I did my final nutrition consultant paper on periodontal disease, which included a small cohort group using a special protocol. My evaluation of each member of this group indicated that their acid-alkaline balance, nutrient deficiencies, digestive deficiencies, stress, immune system, and occlusion problems as well as hormone problems among the women coincided with PD risk factors noted in the literature. Over the 3 month time period, during which they followed the protocol. there was a decrease in total sulcus or pocket depth (as shown on their perio charts before and after the study) in most of the participants. Nori

Has your dentist has recommended a Sonicare toothbrush? My gums have improved quite a lot using this and following instructions for use by my dental hygienist. anon

I know a number of people who have had gum disease as serious as yours. Interestingly enough, a nice tea tree oil toothpaste and floss may help enormously, and in fact helped a friend avoid a root canal. Shop as you like or I'll be glad to tell you my source. Gum disease may be common but it isn't normal. Gum disease may also create cardiac problems. (reference at I assume you are taking good supplements, especially calcium, and a diet low in refined sugars. Lynn