Have you noticed that your gums tend to bleed lately? Do your gums feel sore, particularly after you brush them?
You may be exhibiting signs of gum disease. Gum disease affects as much as 75% of adults in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). This dental concern doesn’t just affect the gums, but also the bones that support the teeth. If this problem goes unnoticed, more complex dental health problems may arise. Healthy, stable gums are an important part of your overall dental health and serve to support healthy tooth structure.
Tooth loss, chronic pain, and discomfort, and even receding gums may occur as a result of periodontitis. In most instances, sore or bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal, or gum disease. A percentage of adults who have gum disease deal with severe periodontitis, which often requires more intensive treatment to resolve. Dr. Gregory Hillyard and Dr. Alexandra Monroe can offer treatment options to patients with gum disease.
Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is characterized as an inflammation of the gums. If caught early, gingivitis is treatable and reversible. Periodontitis is advanced gum disease and can become a serious condition. Gum disease can also impact your physical health and wellness. Studies consistently show the connection between poor oral health and the incidence of cardiovascular and systemic disease. For patients with existing conditions, gum disease can make disease management more difficult.
Bleeding gums is one of the first signs that you may be suffering from the early stages of gingivitis. This starts to progress after a few weeks. After this, it starts to turn into the early stages of periodontitis. This is why it’s crucial to make sure you see the dentist as soon as possible if you think that your bleeding gums are being caused by gum disease.
Bleeding Gums: Prevention and Treatment
Aggressive brushing and flossing can cause bleeding gums, even when gum disease is not an issue. Always use a soft toothbrush and brush using a gentle, circular motion. Brushing back and forth can damage gums and make them more likely to bleed and/or recede. When flossing, carefully slide the floss between teeth and gently follow the curve of each tooth. Forcing the floss up and down can cut gums, causing them to bleed.
If you’re noticing that your gums are bleeding frequently, it’s time to be concerned. If it’s happening multiple times in a month or week, it’s a sign that it’s being caused by something more than aggressive brushing. Before you’re seen in our office, you’re able to assist with them at home. Mix warm water with salt and do saltwater rinses for your mouth. This helps with the irritation and inflammation that gum disease can cause.
During a routine tooth cleaning, the hygienist will remove plaque and build-up from the teeth and gums. Additional treatment for gum disease may include antibiotics or scaling and root planing.
Bleeding Gums Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my gums to stop bleeding?
Practicing good oral hygiene habits is the best way to stop your gums from bleeding. This includes brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day. Also, be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings can also help control and reduce plaque buildup. Dental cleanings also reduce the chances of gum bleeding. If gums continue to bleed, it’s important to see your dentist.
When should I go to the doctor for bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums can be a sign of several underlying conditions. Occasional bleeding might happen if you brush too hard or start a new flossing routine. However, if you’re seeing blood in the sink regularly, that’s a bad sign. Your gums should never bleed when you brush or floss them. If the bleeding persists for more than one week despite taking necessary preventative measures, contact your dentist immediately.
Do I need antibiotics for bleeding gums?
Antibiotics aren’t typically the first line of treatment for bleeding gums. Most of the time, bleeding gums are a sign of early gum disease. The best treatment usually involves improving your oral hygiene routine. This means brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular professional dental cleanings from your dentist. Sometimes, if the gum disease is advanced and causes serious infection, your dentist might prescribe antibiotics. However, antibiotics are just part of the solution. Good oral hygiene is the key to keeping your gums healthy.
Should I brush more if my gums bleed?
Brushing your more might not be the solution if your gums bleed. It’s not just about how often you brush but how well you do it. Make sure you’re brushing thoroughly but gently, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t forget to floss daily, too. Daily flossing helps remove plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. If your gums continue to bleed despite your best efforts, it’s time to see your dentist. They can check for gum disease signs and clean your teeth professionally.
Does bleeding gums cause bad breath?
Yes, bleeding gums can contribute to bad breath. When your gums bleed, it’s often due to gum disease. This bacteria produces toxins that can irritate your gums and cause them to bleed. Moreover, these same bacteria are also what cause bad breath. So, if your gums are bleeding and your breath does not smell good, gum disease could be the culprit. It’s a good idea to see your dentist for a check-up.
Is hydrogen peroxide good for bleeding gums?
Hydrogen peroxide can indeed be beneficial for bleeding gums. It’s a mild antiseptic that can help to kill the bacteria in your mouth. However, you should dilute it with equal parts water and avoid swallowing it. Moreover, it’s not a replacement for regular brushing and flossing. If your gums continue to bleed, it’s important to see your dentist to determine the underlying cause.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Have you noticed bleeding, swollen, or red gums? Call our Media, PA dental office at 610.756.0649 to schedule your dental appointment. We welcome new patients and families and serve many Philadelphia area communities, including Newtown Square.