“Why Do My Gums Bleed?” is a common question that dentists are faced with
This week’s blog is about gum disease, and what you can do to prevent it. Get in touch today.
Gum disease is a problem which affects the majority of the population at some point in their lives, and the problem tends to get worse as you age.
Some studies suggest over 75% of those aged 65 and over are affected by gum disease.
The early signs of gum disease can include bleeding gums, especially when you brush your teeth, bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth.
Gum disease is caused by plaque which is the white sticky substance which forms on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and they then become red and swollen as they try to protect themselves from the bacteria.
This is what causes the bleeding and sometimes tenderness when brushing. It can be made worse by a number of factors, including smoking, poor tooth brushing, and diabetes.
You can find out more reasons as to why your gums bleed. See: Bleeding gums: Causes, Symptoms
What are the different stages of gum disease?
If caught at an early stage, as dentists we call this “Gingivitis”, which means the gums are inflamed.
This is the best stage to treat things as there can often be no lasting damage to the teeth and supporting bone. If left for longer periods however, what happens is the inflammation then starts to affect the bone which supports the teeth, and this eventually leads to teeth becoming loose and having to be extracted.
When the gum disease affects the bone as well as the gums themselves, it is then classified as “Periodontal Disease.” Find out more.
The good news is that gum disease is something which can normally be kept under control by regular visits to the dentist to keep on top of things, and a routine gum check is included in all examinations I carry out on my patients.
The first step is to eliminate any risk factors, which includes stopping smoking and control of any systemic medical conditions such as diabetes.
We would then work together to ensure you are removing as much plaque as you can at home, and this includes tooth brushing and general oral hygiene advice. Click here for more information on how to keep your teeth clean.
For more information on dentistry, see this page.