Periodontal Treatments: When Are Bleeding Gums a Concern?

At one point in our adult lives, there is a good chance that we have all considered periodontal treatments after seeing a little blood in the sink after brushing. Bleeding gums can be an alarming sight, making many wonder if they need to do more to keep their teeth and gums healthy and protected from bacterial attack.

While in most cases, bleeding gums is not a big red flag, there is much we can all do to improve our oral health and keep our gums strong and pink, rather than red and swollen.

Common causes of bleeding gums

Gingivitis

In general, this earliest stage of gum disease is nothing to be worried about. It is usually characterized by swollen, red gums that are sensitive to hot and cold. A more troubling symptom is bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is a relatively mild disease, caused by the buildup of plaque (bacteria colonies) at the gumline. If treated properly by keeping the area clean and free of debris, it should clear on its own without further periodontal treatments.

Get rid of gingivitis by brushing twice per day and flossing once each day, finishing your dental hygiene routine with an antibacterial mouth rinse. Make sure to see your dentist regularly, every six months to get a dental cleaning. This will also clear up any gum disease.

Brushing too hard

Everyone should be using a toothbrush with soft bristles. A hard or medium toothbrush mixed with brushing too hard can injure the gums, causing little wounds to form that might bleed. Even with a soft toothbrush, brushing too hard can irritate the gums. Brush softly in small circles to avoid bleeding gums.

Vigorous flossing

The action of flossing should always be gentle. Gum tissue is strong, but it can still be damaged by rough motions and abrasive material, and forcefully flossing has both these qualities. Always make sure to use your floss carefully, trying your best to not irritate the tissue.

When should I see a dentist?

You should consider periodontal treatment from a dentist when bleeding gums persist or when there is more blood than normal.

Periodontitis

When gingivitis does not clear up on its own, periodontitis can occur. Periodontal disease is a long-term gum disease that damages gum tissue and leads to bone destruction. Symptoms of periodontitis include red, inflamed gums that pull away from the teeth and form pockets. Gums that easily bleed is a sign of periodontitis, as is bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, tender gums and a change in how your teeth fit together. Periodontitis will not go away on its own and will need periodontal treatments to cure.

Let periodontitis continue for too long and tooth loss might occur.

Diabetes

Bleeding or swollen gums is often a warning sign of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. When you have diabetes, the mouth is not able to fight bacterial attack as easily. This condition also makes it harder for tissue to heal. Diabetes and oral health have a direct connection, so do not discount gums that bleed often.

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Request an appointment here: https://www.drstevengerzoffdds.com or call Dr. Steven Gerzoff, DDS at (856) 632-1725 for an appointment in our Lindenwold office.

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