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Picking Gums (Page 1)

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Im not sure why I do it but iv been doing it for 4 years now and I cant stop. I sit there when im bored and pick bits of my gum off untill I bleed it sounds really sick but its just normal for me. I need to no if therw is any one else that does this and ave they managed to stop doing it. I tell my self every night when I brush my teeth before bed "when I wake up in the morning im gonna stop" but I never do
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First Helper Pokey11
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replied May 8th, 2005
Experienced User
Hi jode omg I have the same exact problme as you do. I pick my gums until I taste blood. To me it actually feels good. I even sometimes poke it with something!! I have never tried to stop unfortunately.
Just to let you know you're not alone...
Sorry no one answered you...
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replied May 25th, 2005
I do the same exact thing, like once I start picking at them I cant ever stop, and then I have to like pick at them harder, its almost as if they itch. I thought I was going crazy because I like how it burns lol.
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replied May 26th, 2005
Experienced User
Yeah I like how it burns too. Well we are in the same boat.
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replied June 27th, 2005
Picking Gums
Wow, i'm sooo glad that i'm not the only one who does this. I'm in my early 20s and i've been picking at my gums for a long time, since I was little. I remember my mom taking me to my pediatrician and trying to figure out why my gums were so irritated.

I too like to pick my gums and eventhough it hurts, I enjoy it. The bleeding no longer stops me. Nothing really does. When I pick them, I have a sense that I am getting rid of something bad. But i'm beginning to pick my gums away. You cant tell by looking unless your a dentist, but I can tell when I pick them that the gum that used to be there is no longer there.

Does anyone know how to stop it? :?
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replied June 28th, 2005
Experienced User
Hi pittangel,
well if you are really picking your gums that bad, its not a good sign. You say you feel like when it bleeds, it is like getting rid of something bad and that is worrying. Hurting yourself to bleed and feel better is the same as cutting and self- injury. You feel when you hurt yourslef, all the bad things come out.

Yours may not be that bad but if you really cant stop, maybe you should see a Dr. When do find yourself picking your gums? When you are worried? Sad? Upset? Angry? Finding the root cause of why you pick your gums so bad may be the reason to stop it. :)

please see a Dr. And maybe you should also check with your dentist to see what you can do to cover the wound.

I hope I haven't freaked you out with the self- injury info and all. I 'm sosry if I misunderstood your situation-maybe its not that bad.

Take care. Sorry this is so long...
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replied November 9th, 2005
I know exactly how you all feel. I found this by doing a search on the matter and info about it is hard to come by. I've also been picking my gums since I was a child. I rarely do it anymore unless i'm bored or depressed.

Poetmcc's theory on depression having something to do with it made me think. Before finding this, I always thought it was just masochism which I am partial too in some ways. I don't enjoy excrutiating pain but, some mild to moderate forms of pain are strangely pleasant to me. I've thought in the past that masochism may have something to do with depression and/or sadness because the physical pain tends to take your focus off of the emotional stress.


I have a really bad tooth that needs pulling but, due to my last pull which was a bad experience, i've been prolonging getting this one pulled. It's the last molar on the bottom left. I usually keep it from hurting by brushing it frequently. Today it got to aching bad enough to make my jaw bone hurt so, I took some ibuprofen which didn't do much. Finally I decided to go the masochist route by picking the gumbs of the neighboring teeth with a toothpick. I like to get right in between the teeth where the sensation is most acute and wiggle the toothpick around while slowly pressing it deeper and deeper into the gum. I can only go so far before it gets to be too much but, for me, it helps to distract the brain from focusing on the toothache. Also it does feel good in a sense. It's like a tingling sensation. It almost tickles and even though it hurts as you press deeper, the tingling/tickling is still there which lessens the pain, making it bearable to continue. I had some orajel today to ease the pain but, ended up using most of it on my sore gums. Even with the orajel in place it is still fascinating to pick the gums just to feel that slight, tingling pain through the semi-numbness.

I know exactly how all of this sounds but, I really do believe that it is tied in with depression and anxiety.

Also the tingling that seems to counter the pain during the picking could actually be likened to some forms of -it's really not funny- midievul tickle torture. For instance, in rome, gladiators were punished by being tied to a scaffold then having their bare feet covered in a brine or salt solution. Afterwards goats were brought over to lick the poor man's soles. At first it just tickles really bad but, even during the tickling, the skin is slowly being rasped away by the texture of the goats' rough tongue. After the solution was licked off, more was added and the process was repeated until the victim died, screaming in agony.

Now I know that was a weird thing to bring up but, seeing as it helps to describe the pleasures and regrets of gum-picking, I felt it necesary to do so.

Even though I understand this much about the matter, I seriously doubt that I will ever completely stop picking my gums but, if you're desperate to quit then, you may try chewing on a drinking straw or some bubble gum or wax. If that doesn't work then, you may have an anxiety dissorder for which there is unfortunately no cure but, there are meds that can control it. I take prozac for mine.

Hope I haven't bored you all or creeped you out. Good luck finding a way to beat this habbit.

Edit: the next day...
Well, I just got that annoying cavity removed. I was pretty scared at first because of what happened with that last dentist but, this new guy was understanding and gentle and calming. He pulled that motha right out of there then, I sat straight up and said "thank god!". After that we all had a good laugh and I happily told him and his assistant about how terrible the other dentist had been to me. Now I know who my new dentist is going to be from here on out.

Also my intire bottom left is super numb and that should keep me busy with my toothpicks for a while for entertainment!
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Users who thank BloodGum for this post: novenapicker201 

replied May 15th, 2012
I know how you feel bloodgum when you pick that area with a toothpick right in the upper teeth in the back. it just feels too good man.
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replied June 4th, 2007
Bloody Gums
I picked my gums the entire time reading this blog!

Though I agree it is not a very healthy habit, I disagree with poetmcc who compares gum picking to cutting.

I enjoy picking at the gum right in between my two top front teeth and
I bite my nails and floss with them in between my teeth. I used to (and occasionally still do) pick my gums with the lead from a mechanical pencil, and it often break inside my gum so I have to pick it out. One time i got something lodged up so far that I mom had to get it out.

I definitely can compare this habit that a lot of us have to an addiction. I quit for a while, then when I have to stay up all night and write a paper (like now) it comes back again. Its really bad when your in a public place or in front of other people and you do it anyways.

Glad I could share that with you all

Someone let me know if you find a cure.
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replied September 3rd, 2007
Re: Picking Your Gums
I pick my gums all the time, too. I've been doing it since I was little. It hurts and feels good at the same time.
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replied September 9th, 2007
I still poke my gums with a toothpick and sometimes I take dental floss and makes knots and run it between my teeth. One time I a toothpick and drilled a hole through my gums. When I smiled you can see a hole.
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User Profile
replied September 10th, 2007
Supporter
Re: Picking You Gums
This is so crazy that I found a message board about this! I thought I was the only one.
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 very healthy other than that. I take good care of them, brush 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.
Wish someone could help.
It's good to know I'm not alone.
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replied October 25th, 2007
Help
It troubles me that so many people are experiencing this problem and no one can help. Does anyone have a solution, or know who could diagnose something like this?
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replied April 18th, 2012
I do this only at night while I'm sleeping. I would say talk to your doctor, dentist, and an orthodontist - between all of them they can come up with temporary and/or long term solutions.

Things that have been working for me:
- Retainers. I just had a new retainer made specifically to protect my gums, the orthodontist cut it to leave extra protection around the gum area. When wearing it I will still put my hand in my mouth as if to pick, but the retainer is in place and I can't do any damage.
- I also usually wear "dental gloves" at night to keep myself from doing this. I usually use a pair of clean lightweight socks, regular gloves were too warm.
- I sometimes take the gloves off at night, so a friend made me some velcro bracelets to help keep them on. I don't use these very often - it's hard to use something made with velcro when you are wearing socks on your hands. But I usually put hair bands on top of the socks instead.
- Also tried taping my fingers with medical tape, it was effective but a hassle and left tape residue on my fingernails
- Have been trying "mind coaching" - before I go to bed at night, I tell myself that I'm not going to do it, I visualize myself sleeping through the night with no gum picking, and I reward myself/congratulate myself when I make it through the night with good results. Hasn't cured the problem but seems to help a little.

I may talk with a psychiatrist at some point to see if anxiety meds or something would help. I haven't gone down that road because I don't like being on medication and don't want to spend the money on it right now, so I have been trying non-med otpions.

I also need to start exercising more - being more tired at night and also having healthy ways to relieve stress in my life could help, but haven't followed through with this one yet.

On the bright side, I now take excellent care of my teeth - brushing, flossing, etc.
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replied November 7th, 2007
i pick gums only for taste only . and after finish taste i threw it.
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replied December 10th, 2007
WOW. Shocked

This is starting to sound like a fetish or something...
I haven't been here in a while but, I was feeling particularly, orally masochistic tonight so, here I am.

I had another molar pulled about 2 months ago. The Gum hole is almost half-way healed but, still sensitive when it comes to chewing food.

Anyway, my gum hole is agitated tonight and I have an erge to pick it and some of my other gums but, I'm going to wait until I get through typing this. Making myself wait is almost like being teased. This teasing seems more like torture than the picking itself.

Some of the latest posts sound so much like me that it's just weird. "Prongs on a fork!" :drools: "Drilling holes through gums??!" I think I'm gonna cry. I've wanted to do that too but, haven't worked up the nerve.

That's it! Tomorrow, I'm going to the dental section at Target and buying all of those delicious-looking picking tools! I can't stand it anymore!!

Oh no! We REALLY need a support group for this! I'll check yahoo groups for one and if there isn't one maybe we should start one before we all loose our teeth or get some awful mouth disease!
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replied January 3rd, 2008
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.
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replied January 3rd, 2008
Oh and Happy New Year everyone Smile Hope you guys have a wicked 2008!
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replied January 10th, 2008
Hey to Whole Group..
I feel compelled to say hello to everybody participating in the discussion. Discovering this page was one of the weirdest experiences of my life, but not in a negative way... I've been doing it for years (childhood) and never gave it a second thought...its interesting to see how people can have hidden commonalities.
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replied February 2nd, 2008
Absolutely amazing...


I've also been doing this since childhood and was entirely entranced by the strange sensation of pleasure and pain combining into one. That tingling was sought, and I would find myself doing strange things. Like when I was out at a restaurant I'd get some toothpicks as I left mostly to prod at my gums.

However, later in life I now pay the price for it. My gums are not in good health to say the least. I'm likely going to have to face some expensive and painful procedures in order to graph some gum tissue back to my front teeth, both top and bottom.

I am happy to say I don't do this anymore.

Sadly, it was a little too late. For me, I stopped the moment that I realized I had permanently damaged my gum tissue. Staring down the barrel so to speak gives you a newfound willpower that I know I didn't have before.

I hope that the rest of you folks don't end up in that situation. It's hard, because that urge never goes away. I haven't done it in about two years. Not once. And I still have the urge that I have to consciously tell myself to ignore.

Good luck, folks. All the best wishes to you.
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replied March 24th, 2008
so strange..
i cannot belive how many poeple share this problem, it makes feel better to know am not alone. in fact i made this account just for this problem, i started when i was just a kid too i used everything knifes, scissors, picks, floss you name it i am now 18, i just cant help it, its my only addiction. i tried to stop but every who does it knows how hard it is, the is so strong for me once a could not even sleep. i cant belive that this problem has no answer or cure. well Good Luck to you all i hope some answers will come in time.
P.S. i also get the same urges in the back of my lips and sides of my tongue
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replied May 21st, 2008
Gum Poking
Ok, well I had a tongue ring when i was 16 and now i am 27 the tongue ring was taken out when i was 21 and while i had it in my mouth i used to rub the ball against my gums on the back side till the pressure was really hard; and weirdly it felt good. Then after i took out my tongue ring i began feverishly biting my nails. and to cut the nail biting habit i got acrylic nails and then i stillhad to have my fingers in my mouth! So i began using my fake nails to rub the ridge of my gums/teeth area and just keep messing w/ them. I mean countless hours spent doing it unnoticing of it. It's just such a yucky habit and I think about how harsh it must be to keep depleting my gums but it's literally a sick Habit that's hard to quit.

so i can relate. wish there was some kind of medicine that blocks that addictive behavior part....arggghhhh
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