Bleeding gums can be a worrying sign. They are often linked to serious conditions, such as gum disease or periodontal disease. However, there are many factors that can contribute to someone developing bleeding gums. These factors will be considered in this posting, as well as how bleeding gums can be prevented from occurring.
What are bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums are the result of the plaque surrounding the teeth being due to lack of proper oral hygiene. Plaque is made of sugars interacting with the naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth, creating an acidic substance that wears down both the teeth and gums. When this build-up of plaque occurs, it can irritate gums, causing them to bleed when brushing or flossing. The bleeding of gums is known as gingivitis and is recognised as the first stage of gum disease.
When gum disease is at the stage of gingivitis, it is completely reversible. This means if you have discovered that your gums are bleeding, it is very important not to ignore them, and to book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Other signs of gingivitis developing are:
- Swollen and tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Change in the way your teeth fit when biting
If you continue allowing plaque to build up on your teeth, it will eventually cause the gums to recede away from your teeth. When this happens, it leads to pockets or gaps developing between the teeth and gums, which harmful bacteria can get stuck in, attacking both the teeth and gums. The plaque in the mouth will eventually harden into a substance called tartar.
Once this stage has occurred, you have developed a much more serious condition, known as periodontitis. This can cause teeth and bones to become loose, accompanied with painful ulcers and abscesses in the mouth. Furthermore, periodontitis can lead to the roots of teeth becoming exposed, causing a lot of pain. Periodontitis is also linked to serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and an increased risk of brain abscesses developing.
How do I prevent my gums from bleeding?
The best course of action to take when you notice bleeding gums, is to always consult you dentist. At the first sign of bleeding gums, you should book an appointment as soon as possible, for further advice regarding treatment and prevention. They should provide an extensive and comprehensive dental care plan to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
You can also take simple measures at home to prevent your gums from bleeding, such as:
- Brushing after each meal and before going to bed
- Check ups at least every 6 months with your dentist
- Rinsing with mouthwash after brushing
- Flossing regularly
- Using a gentle fluoride toothpaste
- Brushing your teeth more gently
Incorporating these steps in your everyday routine will greatly reduce the risk of bleeding gums, and really improve your oral health in general.
If you are looking for help regarding your oral health, why not contact Malvern dentists today, to see how we can help you!