Although, gums that bleed while being brushed or flossed is a common and mild form of gum disease called gingivitis, it is neither normal nor something that should be ignored.
Gum disease is the number one reason for tooth loss in Canada.
Receiving early treatment is critical if you want to reverse any damage that has already occurred. If left untreated, the bleeding stage of gingivitis can quickly grow to the infection stage then to the tooth loss stage.
Gum disease: The Silent Disease
In many cases, gum disease is painless with no other noticeable symptoms and many patients are surprised to find out they have the disease. This is why, at Your Smile Dental Care, we encourage you to monitor your gums daily. Watch for any changes to your gum health and call our office to book an appointment if you notice that the following signs are persisting for longer than a week:
- bleeding gums
- swollen gums
- pus discharge
- pain while eating
- tooth sensitivity
- red or irritated gums
- teeth appearing longer
- bad breath
- loose teeth
What Causes Gum Disease?
The root cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque that is not removed from the tooth and is left to grow and irritate surrounding gum tissues. If plaque is not removed every day by brushing and flossing, it grows and hardens onto the tooth surfaces. We call this hardened plaque tartar (calculus) and it now cannot be removed by simple brushing and flossing. It requires professional cleaning.
If you do not have this tartar cleaned by your dental provider then the bacteria begins to damage the tissues and bone that support the teeth. Eventually the teeth may become so loose that they have to be removed.
Other Factors that can contribute to gum disease are:
- Tobacco products, vaping, cannibas and e-cigarettes
- Some medications
- Researchers are also studying possible connections between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, premature births, diabetes and respiratory disease.
This is why regular professional dental care is so very important. At Your Smile Dental Care, we monitor, evaluate and record the health of your mouth at every visit. When we notice a change, even subtle changes, we investigate further. It has been our experience that with good home care, regular visits to the dentist and early intervention, you can achieve and maintain healthy gums.
The Best way to Prevent Gum Disease?
Gum disease is largely preventable and early detection is important to stop the progression of disease. A visit to our Oshawa Dentist or Toronto Dentist office will allow us to determine your stage of gum disease and make a customized treatment recommendation for you. In the meantime, you can help manage your symptoms by:
- Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once per day.
- Antiseptic Mouthwash – Lower bacterial levels in the mouth by using an antiseptic mouthwash. Be careful not to overuse.
- Visit the dentist twice per year to have your oral health examined and your teeth professionally cleaned.
- Stop smoking or using tobacco products.
- Reconsider long term Vaping as it contains nicotine, a vasoconstrictor which decreases blood flow to the gums which impacts your mouth’s ability to fight off bacteria.
- Some medications, medical conditions and mouth breathing can cause your mouth to become dry. Dry mouth allows oral bacteria to thrive making gum disease more likely.
- Some medications as some can trigger gum problems. The most common are Antihistamines, Antacids, Antidepressants, Blood Pressure medications, decongestants and pain relievers. Many medications also cause dry mouth.
If your gums are bleeding or you notice any other unusual signs in your mouth, the best thing to do is call to book an appointment at our Oshawa dentist office or Toronto dentist office to have your teeth examined. Self-diagnosing and self-treatment is never recommended as you may not be addressing the actual cause of your dental problem.
Only your dental provider can determine whether your gums are bleeding due to simple irritation or if there is a greater health concern. You can schedule an appointment with our office by calling (905) 576-4537.