What do Bleeding Gums Mean?
Problems such as bleeding gums can be a sign that your gumline is not being properly cared for and may need more attention. While you don’t need to panic if you notice that your gums bleed, you do need to take action to help prevent the progression to a more advanced form of gum disease. Most commonly, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) is the result of plaque – a sticky film of bacteria forming on the teeth around the gumline or under the gums. Plaque bacteria can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
The Most Common Cause of Bleeding Gums
In most cases, gums bleed because of the harmful plaque – and the millions of bacteria in it – found at or around the gumline being left to develop gingivitis. Gingivitis, the early, yet still reversible form of gum disease, may require treatment and an improved oral hygiene routine to help reverse it.
When gingivitis begins to cause irreversible damage to the gum tissues or bone, the diagnosis would be periodontitis, or periodontal disease.
How to Stop Bleeding Gums
There are many ways to help improve your oral health and keep your gums from bleeding. Since gingival bleeding is mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at or around the gumline, starting an effective oral hygiene routine is a great way to help treat and prevent your gums from bleeding.
Brush at least twice a day: Make sure to brush the dentist-recommended two minutes every session to better remove any plaque that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Consider switching to an electric toothbrush like the Phiips Sonicare
Clean in between your teeth: Flossing, softpicks or using proxabrushes between your teeth at least once or twice a day is one of the most important ways to help prevent bleeding gums and maintain good oral health. It removes plaque and food particles that may be just under the gumline between the teeth, which is where gum disease often starts.
- Avoid Tobacco: Tobacco use of all types can damage your gums and can also make you far more likely to develop gum disease. ***Smoking can mask severe gum disease, as bleeding is minimal or non-existent in smokers, but the damage to the tissues is occurring faster, with the blood supply cut off to help the tissues heal. Also, tar builds up on the teeth and harbors even more harmful plaque bacteria.
- See a Dental Professional Regularly: Harmful plaque bacteria can even lead to issues beyond gingivitis like weakened tooth enamel. Regular dental hygiene visits at your dentist or periodontist’s office will remove plaque and tartar that can’t be removed at home. This will help prevent gums from bleeding and keep your mouth healthy.
- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends eating a balanced diet and avoiding between-meal snacking. Also, reducing stress from your life can help prevent gum disease to keep your smile healthy.