As your dental care providers, we want to reiterate that we don’t just look after your teeth, but your gums too. It’s our job to acknowledge any health changes in your mouth, regardless of whether it’s teeth, gums, or lifestyle changes. This means that we’d like to share some valuable information on symptoms of unhealthy gums, which includes bleeding gums. While they may seem like a nuisance, bleeding gums are actually a worrying sign that something a little more worrying is causing an underlying problem.
What causes bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums are caused by inadequate plaque removal through brushing and flossing that isn’t as efficient, often, or attentive as it should be. Plaque contains bacteria which break down the healthy tissue and protective enamel around the teeth, which inevitably attack the gums too. This causes them to become inflamed, irritated, and sensitive. This inflammation and trauma may cause them to bleed during brushing and flossing, and it’s actually one of the first signs of gingivitis or gum disease.
How plaque plays its part
Plaque that isn’t removed will eventually attack the gums, causing them to separate and recede from the teeth. Once your gums begin to recede, pockets can form between the teeth and gums that allows for food debris, sugars, and bacteria to become trapped and manifest there. This bacteria feasts on the debris and attacks the surrounding structures, including the bone supporting your teeth, with the dangerous toxins it produces. The plaque that forms could eventually harden into tartar, which indicates that your gingivitis has become something far more uncomfortable and dangerous. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that can cause tooth loss, tooth instability, and even affect your general health.
How to prevent bleeding gums
Preventing bleeding gums and gum disease can be as simple as maintaining regular cleaning habits. Brushing and flossing regularly ensures the safe and effective removal of plaque that can also save you from tooth decay and further dental woes. Making appointments to see your dental hygienist is also a great way to ensure healthy gums. These are professionals trained to spot the warning signs, even if you’re not experiencing bleeding gums yet, and will advise on how best to prevent this. They can also develop a hygiene programme with you that involves a series of deep cleansing under the gums, supplemented by our best recommendations and advice. We also offer more general hygiene programmes that involve tartar removal and teeth polishing to help prevent gum disease before it forms.
What are other common symptoms of gum disease?
Gum disease is incredibly common amongst adults in the UK, with most suffering from some form of it regardless of severity. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and involved sensitivity and bleeding when brushing as well as bad breath. Gums may also be swollen and red at this stage, too. Advanced symptoms, or untreated gingivitis, can lead to the far more menacing periodontitis or periodontal disease. These symptoms manifest in very unpleasant bad breath, a foul taste in your mouth, loose teeth that wobble in their foundations, and gum abscesses.
When experiencing even the most minor symptoms of gum disease, its best to seek professional treatment and advice. Gum disease isn’t permanent and is entirely preventable if caught at the right time. Call us on 01529 304 136 or enquire online today to book your first appointment.