Bleeding gums are pretty common, and most people aren’t alarmed by the problem. However, bleeding gums could point to a serious health problem. There are several reasons gums may bleed, and it’s important to identify the exact cause so that you can get the most reliable and effective treatment. Today on the blog, our Kingston family dentist shares four reasons your gums are bleeding and what you should do about it.
Reason 1: You’re brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush
Many consumers don’t realize that they are using the wrong type of toothbrush. Using an abrasive toothbrush isn’t going to remove more buildup than a soft-bristled one. Thoroughly cleaning your teeth has more to do with the amount of time you brush and how frequently you brush than it does the stiffness of your toothbrush. Ideally, opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush if you see “pink in the sink” when brushing your teeth. However, if your condition does not improve or worsens, you might be dealing with a more serious issue.
Reason 2: You’re over-brushing
Over-brushing doesn’t relate to the frequency of your brushing, but instead, the amount of pressure you apply while brushing. So, if you scrub your teeth hard, you’re probably over-brushing, which can cause bleeding gums, gum recession and could wear grooves in your tooth enamel. Instead, use small circular motions across the front surface of your teeth, and back-and-forth motions on the chewing surfaces. Hold your toothbrush with a light grip and apply gentle pressure.
Reason 3: You have gingivitis
It’s estimated that about half of adults have some form of gum disease, which starts with gingivitis: gums that are red, inflamed and bleed easily. The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis can be reversed if you commit to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits twice a year. But neglecting your condition will cause it to worsen, and without treatment, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, an irreversible condition that leads to bad breath, receding gums, and eventual tooth loss. If you’re experiencing any of the previously listed symptoms of gingivitis, see your Kingston dentist right away.
Reason 4: You’ve got advanced gum disease
Gum disease starts when oral bacteria attack your gum tissue. Once it progresses past gingivitis into periodontitis, gum disease causes the gums to pull away or recede, forming pockets that harbor even more bacteria. If you develop periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease, only professional dental treatment will clean gum pockets. If ignored, the gum pockets deepen, and bacteria attack your periodontal ligaments, which hold your teeth in their sockets. Periodontitis also provides easy access for harmful oral bacteria to enter your bloodstream, and affect other areas of your body, including causing systemic inflammation, and doubling your risk of heart disease, stroke, and insulin resistance. The good news is that there is hope for those dealing with gum disease. But you have to take the first step by seeing the dentist to discuss your oral care needs.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Kingston, Tennessee
If you experience gums that bleed easily or see pink in the sink when you brush, talk to your dentist about your symptoms. You could have early stages of periodontal disease or at the least, harming your oral health because of your brushing habits. To learn more or schedule a consultation, please contact LakeView Dental Arts by calling (865) 376-9687.