Why Are My Gums Bleeding?
Bleeding gums can occur for a variety of different reasons. The most common is gum disease. Gum disease is a progressive bacterial infection of the gums. Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup that is not correctly removed from the teeth and gum line. When plaque is not removed, the bacteria can make their way to the gums, causing irritation, swelling, and infection. Bleeding gums is one of the common dental concerns that Dr. Kevin Welinsky can treat at his Towson, MD, dental office.
The Importance Of Treating Bleeding Gums
When gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is left untreated it can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and other serious complications. Gum disease is best treated during the earliest stage of development called gingivitis. During gingivitis, patients may notice bleeding gums, swelling, gum irritation, and halitosis.
For patients with advanced-stage gum disease, also known as periodontitis, they may experience symptoms such as shifting teeth, loose teeth, missing teeth, and swollen, red gums. As soon as these symptoms prevent themselves, it is important to visit our office as quickly as possible. Our team can evaluate the condition of your teeth and gums and determine the best solutions for your oral health.
The Stages of Gum Disease
This is the beginning stage of gum disease. It’s during this stage that you’ll usually notice bleeding gums as a symptom. This is also the only stage of gum disease that can be reversed. Typically, the dentist will recommend deep cleaning or antibacterial mouth rinses to help treat this. It’s crucial to call us immediately if you have bleeding gums. That way, we’re able to treat it in its earliest stages.
Slight to moderate gum disease means the infection has spread into the bone and bloodstream. While this isn’t reversible, it can still be managed. Deposits of bacteria form pockets in your gums and you may experience some jawbone loss. Scaling and root planing are used to help manage this, cleaning out those pockets of bacteria. This helps the gums reattach to the bone.
At this stage, the infection has manifested into a full-blown disease. Your gum pockets may fill with pus, your teeth loosen, and it can be painful to chew. If it’s ignored at this stage, you’ll have severe consequences. Tooth loss is the main thing experienced, but it can also cause problems throughout the body.
Maintaining Healthy Gums
Healthy gums are essential to achieving optimal oral health. To keep healthy gums, it is imperative that patients develop and routinely practice a proper oral hygiene routine. Your oral hygiene routine should consist of daily brushing and flossing to ensure bacteria, food particles, and debris are removed from the teeth, mouth, and gums.
Most dentists also recommend routine preventive care visits. During a preventive care visit, the teeth and gums are examined for any signs of gum disease. Patients will also receive a professional dental cleaning, which helps remove plaque that daily brushing and flossing cannot reach.
Treating Bleeding Gums
The type of treatment a patient receives will depend on the stage of progression of gum disease, the extent of damage, and the condition of the patient’s dental health. After a thorough evaluation, our team will determine which periodontal therapy treatment is right for you. Depending on your needs, we may recommend one or more of the following treatments for gum disease:
- Scaling & Root Planing
- Antibacterial Rinse
- Gum Surgery
- Laser Dentistry
Bleeding Gums FAQs
When should I be worried about bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums can happen to anyone from occasionally brushing too hard. But if it becomes something more regular, that’s when you need to worry. If your gums are bleeding from brushing multiple times a week, or they’re bleeding even without brushing, it’s time to see your dentist.
What can I do at home to help bleeding gums?
The first step to avoiding bleeding gums is to ensure you’re keeping up with your oral health routine. Good oral healthcare is the best way to prevent gum disease. Antibacterial mouthwash and warm salt water rinses can also help to keep bleeding at a minimum. Salt has disinfecting properties and can help ease swelling.
Can something make my bleeding gums worse?
Yes, certain lifestyle habits can cause more issues with your bleeding gums, specifically smoking and drinking alcohol. Both of these things impact healing properties and contribute to poor oral health.