Have you noticed that your gums tend to bleed lately? Do your gums feel sore, particularly after you brush them? While we don’t want you to panic quite yet, you may be exhibiting signs of gum disease. This disease affects as much as 75% of adults in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).
When many people think about dental health, they focus on their teeth. But the gums play an important role in mouth and teeth health. If they are sore or bleeding, you should make an appointment with Dr. Prendergast at Infinity Dental of Fox Lake.
Unfortunately, gum disease doesn’t just affect the gums, but also the bones that support the teeth. If this problem goes unnoticed, even larger problems may arise. Loss of teeth, chronic discomfort and even receding gums may occur.
In most instances, sore or bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease. More than three-quarters of American adults over the age of 35 suffer from some form of gum disease. Most suffer from the lesser, beginning stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis. Although, 5–15% of these people have advanced gum disease, which often requires more intensive treatment to resolve.
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums and other signs of gingivitis can often be treated effectively by a thorough mouth and gum cleaning. During a routine teeth cleaning, the hygienist will remove plaque and build-up from the teeth and gums. Additional treatment for gum disease may include antibiotics or scaling and root planing.
To avoid invasive treatment for gum disease, it is important to visit our dental office in Fox Lake regularly for a tooth cleaning and examination, as well as practice good oral hygiene at home. Your routine should include brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day.
Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, characterized as an inflammation of the gums. If caught early, gingivitis is treatable and reversible. Periodontitis is advanced gum disease and can become a serious condition. Gum disease can also impact your physical health and wellness.
Studies consistently show the connection between poor oral health and the incidence of cardiovascular and systemic disease. For patients with existing conditions, gum disease can make disease management more difficult.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Signs of gingivitis or gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Sore gums
- Receded gums that have pulled away from teeth, making teeth look longer
- Constant bad breath
Bleeding Gums FAQs
Should I go to the dentist if my gums are bleeding?
If you find your gums are bleeding frequently upon contact, it is a good idea to see your dentist. Bleeding gums can be caused by various issues, some more concerning than others. Your dentist will be able to determine and address the cause of your bleeding gums.
Can salt water rinse heal gum infection?
Saltwater rinse is highly beneficial to patients dealing with inflamed or bleeding gums. Salt helps draw out infection and is a natural disinfectant. Saltwater will soothe gums and remove the infection.
How can I strengthen my gums and teeth naturally?
Flossing regularly is a great way to strengthen gums naturally. Floss cleans gums and removes plaque that causes infection. Having your teeth professionally cleaned regularly is another great way to maintain oral health and strengthen gums.
Can bleeding gums heal on their own?
Bleeding gums caused by gingivitis, or gum inflammation, will not heal without proper oral hygiene or professional care. If patients avoid flossing their teeth, they may see improvements in bleeding gums if they begin to floss before brushing every day. Patients who experience additional signs of gum disease will require professional care to reverse their symptoms.
Should I brush bleeding gums?
Yes, you should brush your gums if you experience bleeding due to gingivitis or gum inflammation. However, you should use a soft-bristled brush and brush gently. Brushing your gums too aggressively can irritate your gums and lead to gum recession over time.
Can bleeding gums cause bad breath?
Bad breath, or halitosis, is another symptom of gum disease that patients can experience in addition to bleeding gums. The harmful bacteria that cause gum inflammation and gum disease can have a bad smell and contribute to bad breath.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Periodontal Consultation
If you suspect you may be suffering from gingivitis or gum disease, call Infinity Dental for a consultation. Ensure that they have training in periodontics since post-graduate training is required to earn a degree in this field. Also, ask your dentist to screen for gum disease during every visit.
This will help ward off and prevent gum disease from becoming a more difficult problem to control. Our team will inspect your teeth and gums, and recommend the best form of treatment to address your bleeding gums, gum disease, and advanced periodontal disease.