Healthy gums don’t bleed — and if yours do, your dentist in Lynnfield wants you to be aware of just what that means for your oral and overall health. Bleeding gums are the number one warning sign of gingivitis and periodontitis, or, in plain speak, gum disease. But all hope is certainly not lost if your gums are bleeding. Keep reading to learn more about gingivitis/gum disease and what you can do right now for better oral health.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that is usually caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar. Insufficient oral hygiene is a significant factor in the development of gum disease, but smoking/tobacco use, age, certain medications, and genetics can also play a role.
If left untreated, gingivitis turns into full-blown periodontitis, which will eventually eat away at your bone and periodontal tissue, causing the teeth to fall out for lack of a sturdy foundation. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US.
The best way to prevent gingivitis and gum disease is to maintain solid oral hygiene practices by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist as recommended for checkups and cleanings.
Warning Signs of Gingivitis
It may be easy to ignore the beginning stages of gingivitis. Learn about the warning signs of the condition to make sure you get the treatment you need ASAP.
- Bleeding, red, swollen, tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- A bad taste in the mouth that comes back soon after brushing
- Receding gums (look like they are pulling away from the teeth)
- Tooth sensitivity
- Loose or shifting teeth
- And other symptoms
Bleeding Gums? Here’s What to Do Next
If your gums are bleeding, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. During a checkup, your dental hygienist will take a look at your gums and measure the depth of any periodontal pockets — or spaces where infection lives.
If the pockets are past a certain depth, you may need a deep cleaning to treat gum disease. A deep cleaning (also known as scaling and root planing) is a treatment in which your dentist or hygienist uses special tools to remove bacteria above and below the gum line. It is the gold standard for mild to moderate cases of gum disease. Severe cases of periodontitis may need to be treated surgically.
If signs of gingivitis and gum disease are not present, though, you and your hygienist or dentist can discuss the factors that could be causing your gums to bleed. Certain medications, habits, and other health conditions occasionally result in bleeding gums.
Whatever you think is causing your gums to bleed, don’t wait to find out! Your oral and overall well-being depend on excellent periodontal health.
About the Author
Dr. Rob Schumacher offers excellence in general dentistry for Lynnfield friends and family. To learn more about gum disease and its prevention, diagnosis, or treatment, please do not hesitate to contact the office at 800-523-2427.