Bleeding gums can point to a case of undiagnosed gum disease.
Do you ever see pink or red on your string of floss or in your toothpaste when you spit? Light bleeding after flossing and brushing occurs so often in adults that many believe it’s no big deal. After all, the bleeding is very minor, and your mouth feels fine otherwise.
But is this really the case?
The truth about bleeding gums might surprise you.
Bleeding gum tissue is your mouth’s earliest warning sign that gum disease is brewing.
Did you know that gum disease is the second most common oral health ailment in adults? It’s surpassed only by tooth decay in prevalence, and it’s also responsible for the majority of adult tooth loss.
Gum disease is destructive to both gum tissue and teeth, eventually causing permanent damage if treatment isn’t pursued. Thankfully gum disease doesn’t just occur out of nowhere. In most cases, patients first develop gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that is easily treated and reversed.
Bleeding, tender gums are often the first sign of gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a reversible state of chronic gum inflammation.
When you know what gingivitis is, it makes sense that bleeding gum tissue is one of the first noticeable signs.
Gingivitis is a state of chronic gum inflammation that may be localized to one area or affect the entire mouth. This inflammation leaves gums irritated, swollen, tender, and delicate.
Gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that’s associated with irreversible damage to the gums and teeth. The good news is that gingivitis is completely reversible.
Catching this early warning sign of gum disease and treating it right away is why telling your dentist about your bleeding gums is so crucial. The sooner that inflammation is stopped, the lower the chance of your gingivitis turning into gum disease.
Most cases of gingivitis are caused by oral hygiene and diet.
There are a number of factors that can spark gingivitis, but poor oral hygiene and diet are right at the top of the list. These two factors can cause gingivitis to occur as well as exacerbate underlying oral health issues, such as dry mouth as a side effect from a medication.
Plaque buildup on teeth generally begins right around the gumline. As more plaque builds, it begins to move into the shallow gum pockets surrounding the teeth, causing further inflammation and, without treatment, eventual infection.
As far as diet goes, eating sticky, sweet foods can worsen inflammation by contributing more to plaque buildup. Foods and drinks with high acidity or sugar content may also directly irritate sensitive, inflamed gum tissue. Poor overall nutrition can also weaken the body’s immune response to inflammation.
Keep in mind that even the most fastidious brusher still can’t get every bit of plaque off their teeth. Following guidelines of brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing at least once a day will really help reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth. You might even choose to brush and floss after each major meal. However, these awesome habits don’t replace six-month dental visits for a checkup and professional cleaning.
The sooner your dentist knows about your bleeding gums, the sooner you’ll have relief.
Remember, flossing isn’t an optional step in your at-home dental care regimen. If your gums are bleeding and tender during or after flossing, stopping your home-care routine will only cause gingivitis to worsen. Instead, call your dentist to let them know what’s going on.
Most cases of gingivitis can be treated by improving oral health, changing diet, and potentially troubleshooting more unusual issues, such as dry mouth caused by a medication. The very first step is always a trip to the dentist for an evaluation.
Your dentist will take a close look at your teeth and gums and measure the depth of your gum pockets. Gingivitis not only leaves gums puffy, inflamed, red, and irritated, but it also causes the depth of the gum pockets to increase. Looking for all of these signs will help your dentist make a diagnosis.
A cleaning from your dental hygienist may also be necessary. This will remove all soft plaque and hard tartar buildup that’s causing or worsening the inflammation. Once this debris is removed, your gums can heal properly.
Do you have bleeding, tender gums? Schedule your appointment at Duvall Dental Center today.
If you’re experiencing bleeding gums or similar symptoms such as tenderness, swelling, or tooth pain, it’s time to see Dr. Tyler to find a solution. You can schedule your appointment right now by calling our office or filling out this online form.