Our gums have a very important job; after all they protect our roots and teeth from bacteria. Our gums should be a healthy shade of pink, not red. Without healthy gums protecting our teeth, bacteria can get beneath our teeth and damage tissue. If left untreated, over time the tissue can become too damaged, which ulitmently can lead to tooth loss.
Cause of bleeding gums:
1. Gingivitis (Gum Disease): it is important to brush and floss at least two times per day. If you are not brushing and flossing routinely plaque (bacteria) builds up around your teeth. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums. Your gums become red and swollen, which would make them more prone to bleeding. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. At this stage gum disease can be reversible. Your dentist and dental hygienist can help by removing the plaque and bacteria that travels into the tissue below the gum line. The longer the bacteria travels and stays in your tissue, the worse for your overall oral health. According to the American Academy of Periodontology gum disease may be associated with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
2. Medications: There are some medications that can increase bleeding of the gums even if you brush and floss routinely. Blood thinners and aspirin may increase your risk of bleeding gums. Blood thinners help to prevent harmful blood clots in the body. These medications can interfere with the body’s normal clotting mechanism that help to stop blood flow where tissue is injured. You may be asked if medically possible to stop blood thinners before a dental procedure.
3. Pregnancy: When you are pregnant there are changes in your hormones that can affect your entire body. Hormonal changes during pregnanxy can make your gums more suseptable to plaque, leaning to inflammations and bleeding.
Symptoms of Gum Disease:
Red, swollen gums
Bad breath or taste
Frequent bleeding while brushing
Sores in your mouth
New spaces between your teeth develop
The best way to prevent periodontal disease or bleeding while brushing is to practice good oral hygiene and to be consistent. This means brushing your teeth at least two times per day and flossing before your brush. This allows for you to clean and loosen food particles as well as bacteria. We also recommend you visit our office at least twice a year for routine dental hygiene appointments. For our patients who have active periodontal disease we recommend dental hygiene appointments one time every three months.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or you are concerned about the overall health of your gums, we recommend you to schedule a comprehensive periodontal evaluation with Dr. Morin our Periodontist. According to the American Academy of Periodontology gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Gum disease may be associated with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.