Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on December 28, 2022
5 min read

Gum Stimulators

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What are Gum Stimulators?

Gum stimulators are devices that resemble a toothbrush. But instead of a brush head, they have a flexible, pointed plastic or rubber tip.

You use the rubber tip to stimulate and massage the gums. This motion encourages blood circulation, reducing inflammation and improving gum health. It may also help remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque from hard-to-reach areas between the teeth and along the gumline.

Anyone can use gum stimulators for effortless plaque removal and keeping gums healthy. However, dental professionals generally recommend them for people with gum disease (periodontal disease) and/or implants. 

A gum stimulator can prevent gum disease from worsening and spreading.1

How Do You Use a Gum Stimulator?

If you have gum disease, your dentist may recommend using a gum stimulator as part of your regular dental routine. While regular brushing and flossing help combat gum disease, a gum stimulator adds an extra layer of protection.

Using one is straightforward, but you must do so gently:

  1. First, brush and floss your teeth
  2. Then, dampen the rubber tip of the stimulator with warm water to soften it
  3. Insert the tip into your mouth and massage the edge of the gums near the teeth with light pressure
  4. Use a circular motion back and forth along the gumline
  5. Cover all areas of your mouth, including the back molars

In addition to gently massaging the gum line, you can softly slide the rubber tip between the teeth. This helps remove food particles, debris, and plaque. 

Loosening plaque below the gum line limits the spread of disease. It also allows more oxygen to flow into the periodontal pocket, killing harmful bacteria.2

Who Should Use a Gum Stimulator?

Most people don't need to use a gum stimulator. They are not part of the typical oral hygiene routine for healthy mouths. But in some cases, they can make a positive difference.

Some people find dental floss difficult or uncomfortable to use. Issues with dexterity or using your hands can make flossing extra challenging. Using a gum stimulator with an angled neck may be easier, helping clean hard-to-reach areas around the back teeth.

If you have gingivitis (mild gum disease), periodontitis (gum disease), or receding gums, your dentist may recommend using a gum stimulator. Regular gum massaging can reduce inflammation and bleeding gums. It may also prevent infection from worsening.3

Do Gum Stimulators Actually Work?

Although there is limited scientific evidence on their effectiveness, gum stimulators are generally a dentist-accepted part of periodontal treatment. Some studies suggest using a gum stimulator can reduce inflammation and bleeding.4

Early research found that gum stimulators were as effective as toothbrushes in removing overnight plaque. They were also significantly more effective in reducing gingivitis.5

Furthermore, animal studies show that gum massaging increases blood flow to the gums. It also activates microcirculation, or blood flow through the minute gum vessels in the gingival tissues. These effects contribute to healthy gums and improved oral health.6

There need to be more clinical studies to definitively prove the effectiveness of using a gum stimulator. But many dental professionals agree that gum stimulators can improve gum health.

The Benefits

Using a stimulator tip has several benefits for oral health. Gum simulators can:

  • Improve blood circulation
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Remove food debris
  • Decrease dental plaque and bacteria buildup
  • Increase oxygen circulation at the gum line 
  • Keep gum tissue healthy
  • Strengthen teeth
  • Improve oral hygiene
  • Freshen breath
  • Prevent gum disease from worsening
  • Prevent periodontal bone loss

Additionally, some people enjoy using these innovative oral care products. The massaging action can be relaxing and soothing.

Potential Side Effects

Using a gum stimulator is generally safe. However, if you press too firmly, it can damage your gum tissue and worsen gum recession.

Some people may also experience irritation from overly vigorous use. To prevent side effects, only use gentle pressure and follow the instructions on the packaging.

Where to Buy Them

Your dentist may provide a gum stimulator if you've had treatment for gum disease. If not, you can buy one online or at your local drugstore.

Here are some gum stimulators we recommend:

Are they safe to use at home?

Yes, gum stimulators are safe to use at home. However, you must be gentle and follow your dentist's instructions. Always rinse off the stimulator after each use and replace the rubber tip as needed.

If using the gum stimulator is uncomfortable or painful, discontinue use and talk to your dentist. They can recommend a gentler model or alternative treatment.

Remember that using a gum stimulator won't be enough to treat gum disease. It's still important to brush and floss regularly, even if you use a gum stimulator. Visit your dentist for professional cleanings and exams every 6 months or as advised.

Summary

Gum stimulators are small dental tools with pointed, soft rubber tips. The devices can improve gum health and oral hygiene. In addition, they remove plaque and bacteria, reduce inflammation, and improve blood circulation.

Dentists typically recommend gum stimulators for people with gum disease. When used properly with gentle pressure, they can halt disease progression.

There is limited scientific evidence of their effectiveness, but many dentists agree that gum stimulators improve gingival health. Always use them cautiously, as too much pressure can damage gum tissue.

Last updated on December 28, 2022
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on December 28, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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