Are Your Gums Bleeding? 7 Reasons To Stop Gingivitis in Its Tracks
Seeing blood coming out of your mouth after brushing or flossing can be daunting. And though a little bit of blood now and then isn’t a reason for alarm, if bleeding gums happens frequently for you, it could indicate that you are experiencing the early signs of gingivitis. The good news is that gum disease is entirely reversible when caught early. When it progresses into more advanced stages called periodontitis, however, it can cause various health issues that extend before your oral health.
What should I do if I have bleeding gums?
You can experience gum inflammation for various reasons, leading to redness, swelling, and tenderness. However, the primary reason for this is inadequate plaque removal. It would be best if you brushed your teeth twice daily, flossed correctly, and rinsed those food particles away. If you don’t, it can have detrimental effects. Compounded by not visiting the dentist for a professional dental cleaning every six months, which can result in gingivitis.
Thankfully, if you catch it early, you can turn the situation around. If you have bleeding gums, you should do the following:
- Stop smoking or using tobacco (if you do)
- Adopt a good oral hygiene routine at home. If you don’t know how to brush or floss properly or need a refresher, check out these videos on proper toothbrushing techniques and how to floss.
- Invest in a good gum-friendly mouthwash such as Listerine Gum Therapy Antiseptic Mouthwash or TheraBreath Healthy Gums Oral Rinse Mint.
- Increase your vitamin C intake by adding oranges, orange juice, sweet potatoes, red peppers, or carrots to your diet.
- Ensure an adequate intake of water each day.
- Practice self-care to reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
But aside from doing the following, you should also be aware of the signs and symptoms beyond bleeding gums that can indicate you have developed gingivitis.
- Swollen or inflamed gums
- Dark red gums
- Gum recession
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Gum tenderness
Gingivitis is reversible in its earliest stages.
As we’ve said, you can reverse the stages of gingivitis when you catch it early. If you are experiencing bleeding gums or any of the signs above, contact your dentist to let them know. Indicate which symptoms you are experiencing and for how long. The more you tell your dentist, the better they can help you with a treatment plan. And in many cases, non-surgical treatment for gum disease is an option.
Prolonging the time period before you seek treatment can mean your gum disease can progress to periodontal disease, which is not reversible and, in its most serious stages, can have detrimental effects, such as:
- Greater risk of tooth loss
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Inflammatory bowel disease or rectal cancer
- Complications during pregnancy
Don’t let these things happen to you. If you are experiencing increasingly worsening symptoms of gum disease, it’s really important you take the following steps to lessen your risks for gum disease in the first place. Develop a consistent oral hygiene routine that includes brushing and flossing. Clean your tongue daily with a tongue scraper or by quickly brushing your toothbrush over your tongue. Visit your dentist every six months for your general dentistry treatment, including a professional dental cleaning and oral evaluation.
Treatments for Periodontal Disease
The treatment for your situation will vary based on the illness’s progression. If your gum disease has progressed to a more advanced stage, you must seek treatment. There are both nonsurgical and surgical options available, including the following:
- Antibiotics to fight infection
- Scaling and root planing to remove bacteria from deep beneath your gum line
- Flap surgery to clean your tooth roots more effectively
- Dental bone grafts to reduce the risk of future infection and tooth loss
- Gum grafts to improve your smile’s appearance and reduce your risk for further gum recession.
- Guided tissue regeneration to keep unwanted tissue from growing into the area, and encourages bone to grow back instead.
As you can see, the treatment for the advanced stages of gum disease can be invasive. Stopping gingivitis in its tracks is the preferred course.
Visit Hite Family Dentistry and stop gingivitis in its tracks.
No one wants to develop an illness like those we shared above, especially when we know it is mostly preventable. Let your Edwardsville dental practice help you avoid periodontal therapy by stopping gingivitis before it gets out of hand.
If you are experiencing early signs of gum disease or are overdue for a dental cleaning, now is the time to request an appointment with Hite Family Dentistry. We can help assess your oral health and let you know if you are at risk of developing periodontal disease. While prevention is the best course of action, we can help you keep your gum disease from worsening. Don’t delay. Take control of your oral health today.