Bleeding gums may seem normal, but it could be a sign of gum disease. We’ll show you what your bleeding gums could mean and what you can do about it.
Do you have bleeding gums? You may think it’s entirely normal. You brush your teeth regularly, you don’t get any pain, and it’s only a drop or two, so it’s no big deal, right? That’s not entirely true. There are a multitude of reasons why your gums might be bleeding, and it’s something you should get checked out, even if you’re not too worried.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss. It’s a bacterial infection which left untreated, can destroy your jawbone or even make you more susceptible to allergies and heart disease. That’s because the body reacts to the inflammation in your gums the bacteria in your mouth can then make their way into your bloodstream potentially giving rise to adverse effects.
Perhaps surprisingly, gum disease is quite common. In fact, up to 80% of adults have some level of the condition. If you notice your gums are red and inflamed, you may have gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease. However, your gums may not start bleeding until the disease is in its later stages. The good news? It’s easy to treat and prevent as long as it’s caught and treated early on
Treating Gum Disease
If you have bleeding gums, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. Periodontists specialise in gum disease and will be able to identify the source of infection. Your level of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition, but you may be required to simply take preventative measures to get your mouth back in tip top condition.
Scale and Polish
A scale and polish is a professional clean that removes hardened plaque from your teeth. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque – that sticky film that forms on your teeth and gums, which is why it’s vital to have good oral hygiene.
In more complex cases, you may need to have periodontal surgery, This may result in the removal of the affected tooth. At Fresh Dental Smile Clinic, you’ll consult with our experienced periodontists who’ll explain any procedure in full and put you totally at ease.
However, gum disease isn’t the only cause of bleeding gums. It can be a case of a poor diet, smoking, or not brushing your teeth properly or frequently enough. Taking these preventative measures will stop your gums from bleeding and safeguard your body against the effects of gum disease.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Having poor oral hygiene can significantly increase your chances of having swollen gums and visible plaque on your teeth. This can be remedied by making a few small changes to your brushing routine.
Using Anti-Bacterial Mouthwash
Antiseptic mouthwash controls the buildup of plaque and kills bacteria. Ensure you rinse your mouth before using mouthwash immediately after brushing as it can prevent some ingredients in your toothpaste from working correctly.
Get an Electric Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes are a great way of removing plaque and have the additional benefit of massaging your gums and stimulating blood flow. Alternatively, use a soft bristled toothbrush. These can help stop irritation if you’re brushing too hard.
Monitoring Your Diet
We all know that too much sugar is bad for our teeth, wearing down our layer of protection, but you should also be careful when it comes to eating processed foods. Eating portions of fruits and vegetables in addition to taking vitamin and magnesium supplements boosts the immune system and nourishes the oral tissue. Eating well not only benefits your waistline, but your teeth, too!
Cut Down on The Cigarettes
Cigarettes contain a number of toxins. It’s common knowledge that the tar and chemicals in cigarettes enhance your risk of cancer, but they can also put you at a higher risk of periodontal disease. Smoking doesn’t only cause yellowing on the teeth, but can lead to inflamed gums and decreased immunity, making it easy for the bacteria in your mouth to invade your bloodstream. It’s definitely worth quitting, not just for the cosmetic benefits you’ll get, but also the health benefits.
Are You Pregnant?
If you’re expecting, you may find that your gums start bleeding. This is a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis”, and affects roughly 50% of pregnant women. This is because the hormonal changes that occur can make you more vulnerable to a buildup of plaque. Practicing good oral hygiene can help you decrease your risk and treat gingivitis. However, you should visit your dentist, who may deep clean your teeth or even prescribe antibiotics safe for you to use to combat the infection. Our experts in gum disease can give you all the advice you need and help monitor your condition.
Seeing your gums bleed can be scary. Unless you’ve only recently started flossing (which can irritate the gums), or the bleeding has been occurring for less than two weeks, you should definitely book in for an appointment. Most cases of bleeding gums are relatively harmless and can be treated simply by monitoring your diet and ensuring you’re engaged in good oral practice, but why leave it to chance?
An oral health check up by our periodontists can help you move forward and take the steps to prevent gum disease.Get in touch to book in for a free initial consultation.