Bleeding gums shouldn’t be ignored. If your gums bleed every time you brush or floss your teeth, it’s time to talk to your dentist. Bleeding gums aren’t normal — they’re often indicators of gum disease. At Alpen Dental, our experienced dentists can perform a comprehensive evaluation of your bleeding gums and provide personalized treatment for you.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a progressive infection that affects the gum tissue. It’s experienced by nearly half of Canada’s population, and it can cause serious damage to the gums and teeth and eventually lead to other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory complications and stroke.
Bacteria can attack and spread throughout your gums. They hide and live in the deep linings of the gum, causing tooth sensitivity and bleeding. With time, the gum tissue becomes inflamed and swollen, which is the reason it easily bleeds during brushing and flossing.
What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?
Have you noticed any change in your gums? Do they look swollen, red and tender or bleed when you brush? If you notice any of these signs, you may be seeing symptoms of gum disease.
Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth when you eat. Whatever you eat or drink throughout the day deposits onto your teeth, forming plaque. That’s why it’s recommended to brush and floss at least two times per day. When plaque is left to form on your teeth, it will gradually harden into a substance called tartar, which is a very hard layer of film that sticks to your teeth and can only be removed by a professional dentist. If it’s not removed early, tartar will slowly build up and lead to gum disease.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Following is a list of the common symptoms of gum disease:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth
- Receding gums that make your teeth look longer
- Holes between teeth and gums
- Discolouration and inflammation of the gums
- Deterioration of tooth structure
- Tooth loss
The Two Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of bacteria on the teeth. There are two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. As bacteria work their way into your gums, you’ll notice the tissue becoming swollen and tender. Then, they’ll start bleeding. In many cases, the initial symptoms of gum disease are so mild that the affected individuals don’t realize they have gingivitis.
The good news is that gingivitis can be treated if it’s caught early enough. If not, it can eventually lead to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease and occurs when bacteria spread to the teeth, bones and gum tissue. As the gum tissue and bone of tooth separate, pockets form between them where more bacteria collect. This issue has the potential to cause a bad infection, leading to loss of tissue, bone and teeth.
How Do You Prevent Gum Disease?
A good way to prevent gum disease from starting in your mouth is to visit the dentist regularly. That means at least two visits to the dentist every year as well as maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home.
Bleeding Gums Treatment Options
The ideal treatment for you will depend on the severity of infection as well as your overall health. If you have a minor infection, we’ll perform a thorough cleaning of your gums and teeth and recommend frequent follow-ups to prevent gum disease from taking root.
If you have an advanced case of infection, we’ll first have to do gum infection therapy treatment where we’ll thoroughly clean your gums and teeth to get rid of any bacteria in your mouth. We’ll then smooth the surfaces of your teeth to eliminate any spots where new bacteria can collect. The affected areas will be rinsed with an antibacterial flush to wash out any remaining bacteria so that you can start fresh with a cleaner, healthier mouth.
Our professional dentists will then recommend a follow-up visit every four to six weeks. We’ll also suggest you schedule more frequent cleanups so that we can monitor your condition and prevent the recurrence of the disease.
Take Care of Your Teeth for Life
The good news is that bleeding gums and gum disease are treatable, even in the advanced stages. If you’ve noticed that your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss, you should get in touch with our professional dentists at Alpen Dental.
By reaching out to a dentist as soon as possible, you can prevent the progression of gum disease, and there’s a good chance you’ll keep your beautiful, healthy smile for life. Reach out to us today to schedue a dental consultation at either our Blackfalds or Rimbey location.