We see problems such as bleeding gums in the office quite a bit, they can be a sign that your gums are not being properly cared for and need more attention. While we don’t want you to panic if you notice bleeding gums, you do need to take action to help prevent the progression to a more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontal disease.
Did you know…?
Bleeding gums are not normal!! They can be a sign of gum disease. Other signs of gum disease include: bad breath, swollen gums, receding gums and loose teeth.
Nearly 60% of people have experienced bleeding gums at some point in their adult life.
In fact, while research shows that one in two Americans have some form of gum disease, approximately only three percent seek dental treatment. That’s not a lot! According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), this difference between the prevalence of gum disease and the low levels of professional treatment can likely be blamed on a lack of understanding of the effect periodontal disease can have on overall health. Some studies suggest that periodontitis may be associated with other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Bleeding gums are most often caused by harmful plaque – and the millions of bacteria in it – found at or around the gum-line being left to develop gingivitis. Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, may require treatment and improved oral hygiene to help eliminate it. If left untreated, bleeding gums and gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.
If you don’t have gingivitis, but still suffer from bleeding gums, don’t ignore the problem. Bleeding gums can also be caused by bleeding disorders, leukemia, vitamin K deficiency, hormonal changes, scurvy or the use of blood thinners. With regular checkups, gingivitis can be controlled and reversed to get the gums pink, firm and healthy and your pearly whites in good shape!
Let’s fix this!!!
So if you are noticing bleeding on brushing, bleeding when flossing or bleeding at anytime, we want you to know that there are many ways to help improve your oral health and eliminate bleeding gums. Since bleeding gums are mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at or around the gum line, starting an effective oral hygiene regimen is a great way to help treat and prevent gum bleeding. Here’s a few great tips from our hygienist Melissa, to help you keep your entire mouth healthier and your gums happier:
- Brush Often: Brushing with a soft bristle brush in a circular motion will help stimulate your gums, help prevent bleeding gums and strengthen the tissue that protects your teeth.
- Floss Daily: flossing is one of the most important ways to help prevent bleeding gums and maintain good oral health. It removes plaque and food particles that may be under the gum line and leading to bleeding gums.
- Avoid Tobacco: tobacco use can damage your gums, and can also make you far more likely to develop gum disease.
- Water Flosser: although you can’t replace flossing with a water flosser, it is definitely a good adjunct for patients who have bridges, implants, and are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
- Ora-Care mouth wash
- Come in for a regular checkup: harmful plaque bacteria can even lead to issues beyond gingivitis like weakened tooth enamel. The cleaning performed twice a year at the office will remove plaque and tartar that can’t be removed at home. This will prevent bleeding gums and keep your mouth healthy. Twice yearly cleanings can help prevent early gum disease from progressing into more serious gum disease.
- Maintain a healthy life style: the American Dental Association recommends reducing in between meal time snacks and eating a balanced diet. Trying to reduce stress from your life can also help prevent gum disease.
Happy dentisting everyone! If you have any questions about this topic or any-others, my staff and I would be more than happy to talk to you about it. Just give us a call at the office – 610-446-4225, or just grab one of us at your next appointment.
– Dr. M