Sounds sick, huh?
I've been picking at my gums for as long as I can remember. It started in childhood with my fingernails. I would scrape at and poke the corners of my gums where my teeth meet until they bled. It didn't even hurt-it felt good. Now that I am 23, the habit is even worse. I can sit here for hours picking at my teeth. They don't even bleed anymore. I use whatever is small, sharp, and pointed. From thumb tacks, knives, the prongs on a fork, straws, toothpicks, nail files, I could go on forever.
I am really worried that my teeth will eventually start to fall out because the gums are beginning to disappear. The weird thing about it is my teeth are relatively healthy other than that. I take good care of them, brush and floss them regularly, whiten them.
I started thinking today that this was definitely a psychological problem but I've never heard of anyone else having the same problem.
I've tried to use orajel too. It doesn't work. The tingling feels good, then I feel then need to poke. I put orajel on the tool and jam it into my gums. It just feels good, I don't even know how to explain it. The best way for me to try to explain is it's almost like itching and a constant need to scratch.
Wish someone could help.
you know I have a similar habit, I chew off the inside of my cheeks and lips with my teeth and nails. I feel like I have to peel off the inner skin of my cheeks all the time and now I have canker sores popping up everywhere! I think gum picking and cheek picking are a form of OCD. I'm in a yahoo group for skin pickers that you might want to check out its called Pickaderms. Hope this helps!
I used to have a bad habit of biting my nails, but I've over come that only because I grow my nails to pick my gums! I know it's really bad and I shouldn't do it but like the rest of the people that have replied to this topic I enjoy it alot and the fact that it bleeds doesn't stop me either.
Ever since I was little I used to poke my gums with toothpicks and sharp objects but now I just use my nails to do it and I need to stop cos just like Marianne0558 mentioned, my gums are starting to disappear and I'm scared my teeth might fall out. I mainly pick the gum surrounding the bottom four front teeth; front and behind.
I've been to the doctor twice about it and all they've said is that it's all down to willpower, which is REALLY hard. I've also noticed that I don't tend to pick my gums as much when I'm chewing something so I guess chewing gum would be a good idea to divert your attention from it for the moment but I'd rather look for a solution than a diversion.
In addition, reffering to serratia's post: I also have that habit too - using my tteth to bite the insides of my mouth. I've also heard that this is a form of OCD. The doctors gave me the same answer as above for my gums and said the biting-the-inside-of-my-mouth was caused by high levels of stress.
ever since i was little i bit my nails really bad. i would bite past the nail bed and rip off my cuticles and i saw a doctor about it and he said it was high anxiety levels.
when i was 10 i accidentally poked my gums with a toothpick, and it was really satisfying, but i didnt pick up the habit until i was about 15.
i find it extremely strange (but somewhat relieving) that other people have the same problem.
i struggled with an addiction to cocaine for a few years, and it often made my mouth go numb, and thats when i really started stabbing and picking at my gums, i thought it was because of that, but now that i'm clean, i continue to pick at them, and im picking at them right now.
i just wanted to show some support that you are not the only one !
I knew that i wasn't the only one who loves to pick at their gums until they bleed. It feels so good, especially after the picking occurs. I enjoy how the tingling occurs awhile after the actual picking. It makes me keep coming back for more. I mainly do this at night...even in my sleep...or when I can't sleep. I love how the gums start to recede. Sounds weird, but it makes me want to pick at them more. There is more space for picking. LOL.
I had a tooth removed in Febuary of last year, and the wound has long healed, but now I have an open space for picking at. I prefer my fingernail, but if a tac or pin becomes available, that is wonderful as well.
I even found myself doing this in public places like work. I dodn't even care that I was doing it. The spaces in between my teeth are becomming larger, and I love how much easier it is to get something in there. Keep posting...I can't stop this, and probably need professional help. I have been doing this since childhood.
I have been doing this since I was little. I can remember I had a favorite spot- right between my canine and first molar on the right side. I remember picking at that spot just felt right to me somehow... At some point my favorite spot switched to a different area... I would definitely never pick at the old spot now. It would just feel weird.
Goodness knows how many times I have probably taxed my immune system doing this- once the wound has been inflicted, I have a tendency to push down on the spot with my fingers. They have to be dry and salty for it to feel right... I can seriously just leave my finger on the same spot for as long as I want and it'll just keep burning.
I do this all quite absent-mindedly... If I am paying attention, I can keep myself from doing it, but the minute I don't focus on it, I'll discover myself doing it again.
It seems to happen most when I am bored or stressed, but also sometimes when I am reading a good book I will do it and because I am so absorbed in the book, I will do a lot of damage without even noticing. There have been times when I have picked for so long that I have developed a headache from it.
I have always wondered why this feels so damn good to do! There is no other way to describe it but as immensely pleasurable. I am a huge baby when it comes to any other kind of pain, so why does this feel good??? Anybody have any idea?
I have done the same thing! When I was little I used to scrap my gums until they were raw. Then i started shoving toothpicks and sharp objects into them. It doesn't hurt. It feels good...but like almost a euphoric feeling. Sometimes I can't stop. I then rinse with scaulding hot water and salt. It makes them sting but it hurts them for a while which takes the urge to pick away. Just try not to damage any nerves...
I do this too. obsessedly & usually absent mindedly. Then it kind of ulcers over and the only way to remedy that is to scrape the ulceration part off so that i can pick the healthy part all over again. I think the reason that it feels good is because your body releases natural endorphins in response to pain. This is a similar biological molecule that is related to morphine. So it would only make sense that stress is a trigger and that there can be a developing addiction to it. Once you are stressed and you start and those natural endorphins are released you get the euphoria that people get off narcotics. I guess without even noticing it it becomes easier to use this to get that "feel good" during times of stress and so it becomes an unconscience addiction. I guess willpower seems like a reasonable suggestion from a physician standpoint, but even for me, and i take medication for stress, ive been doing this for about 20 something odd years now and even though sometimes i can go for what seems like a long time without doing it, it takes one slip up and then im back to the old habit.
Like Willwitch said, I get pleasure from picking (or to be more specific :pushing the gum up with my finger nail or picking) at only two specific spots. If you start counting from one of the mid(front)upper teeth thesatisfying feeling occurs around the gum of the 4 th tooth or inbetween 4and 5 and the corresponding area on the other side for a total of 2 spots.I had been doing that as a child but than put a conscious stop on it as an adult to stop hurting my body although i still desire picking...It gives such a sense of satisfaction.
I do this too. I get the same euphoric feeling other people report. My habit was also the result of a kind of accident: I was a heavy pencil-chewer in high school, and one day I bit one so hard it broke, driving a splinter into the gum above my left canine. After that, I stopped chewing pencils and started this new lifelong habit. I, along with betty21, suspect the undeniable compulsion and euphoria are related to an endorphine-related rush. As far as advice for dealing with it goes, I find I do it a lot more when I'm tired -- getting a lot of sleep seems to help. Exercise is also helpful, and suppresses the need for a while. Stimulants can help too, briefly; if you've got a big meeting or something at work, and are worried you're going to embarass yourself (as I have and still occasionally do), try popping a couple Vivarin or drinking some strong coffee (it really works for me). But don't forget that the caffeine may have other undesirable effects if you're not used to it. "Willpower" is pretty useless in my experience, long-term at least, without other actions taken to support it. Sleep, exercise, overall life-stress reduction, and finding other ways, especially physical ways (even singing!), to stimulate brain activity are the only long-term solutions that have helped me.
During th Oral stage of child development, children derive pleasure from their gums. Psychologists have reason to believe that if you didnt get to chew on enough things or if you chewed on too many things, you would develop whats known as an "oral fixation."
Smokers are said to have an oral fixation, along with nail biters, gum pickers, and cheek chewers.
That euphoric feeling is microbes- there is an infection that needs to be treated. When you pick at it, it sends a pleasure signal to the brain, causing you to want to do it more. It does this to spread itself. Meanwhile, over the years, the gum infection spreads and recedes your gums throughout the entire mouth, causing cankers, flare ups, and tooth loss. Initially, use listerine 2x per day (the burn is very pleasurable in the "itchy" areas, and see a periodontist to treat the disease in your gums.
Try this...Take an exact-o-knife and push it between your bottom teeth with the back end towards the gum (the part that isn't sharp)...then gradually push up on the handle...this applies a slow and steady pressure to your gum without cutting it. Still, it hurts and feels incredible...it works best on areas you've previously injured/cut.
Night Shade, I'm surprised you have any gums left. This will catch up to you- please see a periodontist before you end up with a nasty recession. It happens almost over night. That good feeling will eventually be replaced by pain and tooth loss. Not a laughing matter.
I can't belive there is people out there like me. I like to take pieces of paper and roll them up like a tooth pick and shove them into the spaces between my molars. It hurts but it feels good. I can't explain it. I can't stop doing it even though I know it isn't good for my gums. I pick and pick and pick and it drives my husband crazy. I don't even know I'm doing it sometimes unless my Husband says "Stop it ". I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder recently. But the medication hasn't stoped me from the obsesive gum picking.
I have had this habit it seems almost my entire life. Nothing matches the way it feels. Sick right? Every time I try and stop I feel way to much anxiety. This is a feel-good pain that only people like us would understand. The more it hurts - the more pleasurable. I use toothpicks and the deeper I dig the more pleasure I derive. However, about six months ago I dug so deep in my gums that I ended up with a major infection throughout my entire mouth. It was horrible and I had to get an antibiotic. Now that I am all better...I am back to the same thing again. This is an addiction..for sure.