Bleeding gums can be alarming to experience. Here’s why it can happen, what you can do about it, and how seeing a dentist can help.
Bleeding gums can be a symptom of gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. Often, bleeding may happen while brushing or flossing, and you may notice swelling as well, and it can be painful.
Generally, gingivitis is a result of plaque buildup on the teeth. If plaque is not removed adequately, it can build up even further and harden into what’s known as tartar, which can further damage the gums and lead to receding gums — and ultimately bone damage.
Also, certain diseases can lead to bleeding gums, particularly if you’ve also noticed you bruise or bleed easily elsewhere on your body. In addition, blood thinning medications can lead to bleeding gums, as can pregnancy, which can increase gum sensitivity.
In addition, immune system conditions, such as HIV or diabetes, can affect the gums and can lead to bleeding and gingivitis.
The truth is, more than 75 percent of Americans have some sort of gum disease, and even worse, most don’t know that they do. Gum disease, which can be signified by bleeding gums, can cause a number of serious issues.
Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which means space forms between the teeth and gums. These pockets can harbor bacteria, which can harm the structures that keep your teeth in place — including bone. This can result in pain and lost teeth.
If you experience bleeding gums, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can. A quick examination will reveal gingivitis or periodontitis, and how advanced the disease is.
If you’re hoping to keep your gums healthy, there are a few things you can do. First, brush your teeth at least twice a day, and clean between your teeth with dental floss. Keep sugary snacks at bay (moderation is key) and avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
In addition, you’ll need to see your dentist at least twice a year. This way, you can get a thorough cleaning and exam to make sure everything is on track, and they’ll also be able to assess for any issues, like bleeding gums, that may have cropped up since your last visit.
Periodontists are dentists that specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. They are also familiar with oral inflammation and can tackle even the most problematic periodontal cases, and go to school an additional three years beyond dental school.
Creating Smiles Dental has an in-house periodontist — Dr. Perera — who can work with any periodontal issues you may have. Creating Smiles Dental also offers a wide variety of periodontal treatment options, from dental crown lengthening to gingival grafts to bone grafts.
Although bleeding gums can be frightening, the staff at Creating Smiles Dental can take care of your exact needs, whether your problem is minor or needs a little more special care.
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