Bleeding Gums? Why You Should See Your Dentist ASAP!
By Dr Sean
That little bit of blood in the sink is not something you should ignore.
Bleeding gums should never be considered normal. In fact, it is most likely an indicator of gum disease.
In the early stages, this is known as gingivitis. When it becomes more advanced, it is termed Periodontal Disease.
Would you ignore bleeding from your scalp every time you brushed your hair?
Most commonly, gingivitis occurs because of plaque (bacteria) left behind on the teeth – plaque is the white soft stuff removed during brushing and flossing. If plaque sits on the teeth for long enough it forms hard tartar- both tartar and plaque contain bacteria that will irritate the gums – causing inflammation.
Most often the only symptom of gum disease is bleeding when cleaning your teeth. Other symptoms include redness and swelling of the gums. Think of bleeding gums as an open wound – millions of bacteria can enter the blood stream via the diseased gum!
If left untreated, gingivitis or periodontal disease can cause a myriad of problems- not only in your mouth, but your body too!
- Gingivitis and Periodontal disease can lead to gum recession
If your bleeding gums are left untreated for some time, the gum tissue will begin to “recede”. Receding gums expose the roots of the teeth which not only look unappealing, but can result in sensitivity to everyday things like a glass of water.
- The end result can be loss of a tooth!
As gum disease advances, the bone surrounding each affected tooth begins to erode and shrink away. The tooth is loosing its foundation! Eventually, the tooth can become loose and be lost soon after.
- Gingivitis and Periodontal disease have been linked to Heart Disease and other medical conditions
Numerous studies have shown a link between Periodontal Disease and Coronary Artery Disease. Research has indicated that those with periodontal disease have increased risk of heart disease.
Links to other diseases including diabetes have also been established.
- Bad breath
You may not have noticed, but the bacteria causing gingivitis and gum disease can cause bad breath.
So what is the treatment for gingivitis and gum disease?
We recommend you book in to see your dentist without hesitation.
Usually, gingivitis can be resolved by a thorough professional clean at your dentist, along with improved cleaning at home. And this means flossing daily!
We educate all of our patients on the correct way to brush teeth and clean between the teeth (with floss or interdental devices).
When gingivitis has progressed to Periodontal disease, treatment is similar but may involve deeper cleaning around the affected areas. Sometimes we recommend you see a gum specialist or Periodontist.
In most cases, gum disease can be controlled. There is no magical cure, but changing your cleaning habits at home is the most effective measure – in combination with professional dentist cleans on a regular basis.
If you have bleeding gums or would like to be assessed by a dentist, contact us on 9596 2092 or book an appointment using the tab above.