Bleeding gums are often an indication of gum disease, which can cause severe problems if left untreated.
It’s important to understand what your bleeding gums may be trying to tell you about your oral health and how to take steps to maintain healthy gums and teeth.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a common condition that affects the soft tissues of the mouth, including the gums, tongue, and cheeks. It is caused by bacteria in plaque, which is a sticky film that forms on teeth. When plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar, which can lead to inflammation and infection in the gums.
There are two stages of gum disease:
This is the early stage of gum disease, characterised by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. At this stage, the damage can be reversed with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. This is a more advanced stage of gum disease, where the infection has spread to the supporting tissues and bones around the teeth. In severe cases, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The most common cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. When plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone.
Other factors that can contribute to gum disease include:
- Smoking or using other tobacco products
- Hormonal changes, such as those during pregnancy or menopause
- Certain medications, such as anti-depressants and anti-epileptics
- Chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
The symptoms of gum disease can vary depending on the stage of the condition.
In the early stages, symptoms may include:
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Tooth Sensitivity
- In more advanced stages, symptoms may include:
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the bite or the way teeth fit together
- Pus or discharge from the gums
- Painful chewing
- If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit a periodontist or dentist as soon as possible.
Why is Gum Health Important?
Maintaining healthy gums is important not just for your oral health, but also for your overall health. Studies have shown that there is a link between gum disease and other health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
In addition to reducing your risk of other health problems, maintaining healthy gums can also help you avoid more costly and invasive dental procedures down the road.
How to Maintain Healthy Gums
Maintaining healthy gums starts with proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash.
In addition to these basic habits, there are a few other things you can do to promote gum health:
- Quit smoking or using tobacco products
- Limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks
- Visit a periodontist or dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings
- Consider using an electric toothbrush, which can be more effective at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush
Apply Routine Check
Bleeding gums may be a sign of gum disease, which can lead to serious oral health problems if left untreated. By understanding the symptoms of gum disease, its causes, and how to maintain healthy gums, you can take steps to protect your oral and overall health. Remember to visit your specialist periodontist here at RW Perio or dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings, and to practice daily dental hygiene at home.