Bleeding gums are a sign of underlying oral health issues.
When brushing and flossing your teeth, it seems reasonable to assume bleeding could occur as a result. However, your gums should not typically bleed as you brush and floss your teeth. If you notice your gums are bleeding during your oral care routine, it could be a sign of an oral health issue that needs prompt treatment.
Why are my gums bleeding?
In many cases, bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which can progress to cause widespread infection and even lead to losing teeth. However, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent the dangers of gingivitis.
The Dangers of Gingivitis
Gingivitis might not seem like much of a concern in the early stages. The most noticeable symptom is likely to be bad breath, which is more of an inconvenience than anything else. However, you can soon find yourself dealing with much more serious consequences if you don’t take quick action.
Gum disease is caused by natural bacteria in your mouth growing and multiplying in larger numbers. They can penetrate the gumline, cause inflammation and soreness, and can lead to gum recession over time, causing teeth to look longer as the gums pull away. Gum disease also weakens tissue and causes your gums to bleed easily during brushing or flossing.
As gingivitis progresses to the later stages of gum disease, your gumline will begin to pull away from the surface of your teeth. Over time, this can lead to pockets where bacteria can thrive even more effectively, accelerating the condition.
With enough time, the bacteria penetrate very deeply and infect the tissue surrounding your teeth. This can cause teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.
The bacteria responsible for gum disease are the same that cause tooth decay, so you’re at an increased risk of developing cavities and other complications while living with gum disease.
Gum disease can also have a negative impact on your overall health. It has been linked to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular complications, along with diabetes. Acting on gingivitis in its early stages is the most effective way to prevent these serious health consequences.
How You Can Reverse Gingivitis
If you start to notice bad breath, bleeding gums, or other signs of gingivitis, you can take action to reverse it and prevent further gum disease progress. The earlier you take action, the simpler the steps you can take to make a difference.
First, you should make sure you’re visiting the dentist regularly. This will ensure gingivitis is spotted early enough for an effective response. Regular dental cleanings also play an important role in preventing gum disease.
Bacteria form hard deposits on your teeth called plaque and tartar that contribute to gum disease, and regular brushing can’t remove them. During a dental cleaning, your dentist scrapes these deposits away with special tools. Sticking to proper oral hygiene at home is also essential to dealing with gingivitis.
Depending on how far your gingivitis has progressed, you may need additional treatment. Scaling and root planing are the most common treatments for early gum disease.
Scaling is similar to regular dental cleaning but uses different tools to reach deep within pockets around the gumline. Root planing scrapes the surface of teeth below the gumline, making it more difficult for bacteria to take hold there in the future.
If gum disease progresses further, you could find yourself in need of gum surgery for effective treatment. There are several different types of surgery that are suitable for different situations to treat gum disease and restore the appearance of your gums afterward.
How to Take Control of Your Oral Hygiene
When gingivitis is identified early, simply improving your oral hygiene routine can be enough to reverse it. If you’re not already brushing twice a day, you need to start. Make sure you’re brushing for a solid two minutes and that you’re reaching every side of every tooth.
The importance of flossing can’t be overstated. Little bits of food can get stuck in the crevices between teeth and around your gums. These can’t be reached by brushing and will provide nourishment for bacteria to thrive. Flossing at least once each day removes these bits and protects you from gingivitis.
Once you’ve kept up a great oral health routine for a while, you should start to notice your gums looking healthier. Healthy gums should be a distinctive pink color and firm, as opposed to red and swollen.
Get the periodontal care you need to maintain oral health.
If you’re suffering from bleeding gums, gum pain, or other signs of gingivitis, you should reach out to the professionals at First Dental Associates. We provide a full range of preventive and periodontal treatments to help deal with both the early and late stages of periodontitis.
Schedule your appointment today to take control of your oral health.