Gum disease is a problem for many people, but few even know they have it. They think that bleeding gums are just an ordinary thing, but the truth is they often indicate some form of dental problem or periodontal infection (gum disease). This is something you should not ignore. This also is not a problem you should self diagnose. Rather, you should consult with a dentist as soon as possible for a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause and best treatment plan for your unique needs. Many factors contribute to gum disease and bleeding gums, but first, the dentist will rule out other causes like brushing too hard, a vitamin deficiency or clotting disorders.
- Other Common Causes of Bleeding Gums:
- Use of blood thinners
- Poor fitting dentures
- Injury or dental trauma
- Lesions or mouth sores
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Medical problems like heart disease, diabetes or scurvy
Early Diagnosis is Key
During the early stages, gum disease is not usually painful. However, as it advances it can cause swelling, sores and even sensitivity. Don’t let it get this far. By catching the disease early and with the help of your dentist or hygienist, you can treat and reverse gum disease before it causes any real damage. Here are a few nonprescription options, Stetson Hills Dentist might recommend to treat your bleeding gums:
At Home Care
In some cases, the bleeding will be minimal with little sign of infection. In these cases, the dentist or hygienist might simply recommend more vigilant dental hygiene at home. You should be brushing and flossing properly after every meal. This doesn’t mean a one minute brushing spree, but rather a three minute dedicated cleaning. It is the only way to remove plaque and bacteria. The dentist might also suggest you regularly use antiseptic mouthwash to fight infection and bacteria in your mouth.
Professional Dental Cleaning
This usually happens during your routine exams every six months. However, if you have been putting off that dental appointment, now is the time to call for an appointment. The hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup that has hardened on the tooth’s surface both above and below the gumline. If you are especially prone to gum disease, the dentist may recommend these cleanings more than twice a year, depending on the severity of your case.
Scaling and Root Planing
This is a deep cleaning performed by the dentist or hygienist. They use ultrasonic or manual tools to scrap away plaque and tartar from periodontal pockets that might have formed. Then he or she will smooth the roughed surface of your teeth. This eliminates the little pours on your teeth where bacteria like to hide and creates a clean surface for the gums to reattach.
Other Ways to Treat/Prevent Bleeding Gums
There are a number of things you can do to minimize your risk of gum disease and stop the bleeding, including:
- Brushing with baking soda once or twice a week
- Trying a gentler approach when brushing
- Using a soft bristle toothbrush
- Applying pressure to the area with gauze or cold compress
- Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water
- Trying an oral irrigation tool (water pick)
- Enjoying a balanced diet and healthy exercise
- Avoid smoking and tobacco use
You should not be seeing pink in the sink when you brush and floss your teeth. Visit the dentist for diagnosis and treatment, then follow these tips to help keep gum disease at bay. If you have any further questions or concerns about this infection, please feel free to call us at (719) 838-5013.