A dental practice doesn’t just look at your teeth, we pay attention to your gums too. Gums are often overlooked in home dental care, but they’re an important part of your dental health. Here at Down House Dental Practice, we want to share to valuable information on the meaning of bleeding gums, unhealthy gum symptoms you might be noticing, and how to best promote the health of your gums.
What causes bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums are common because they’re a sign of gum disease, something nearly every adult in the UK has experienced to some degree or another. If you see little red or pink fleck in your toothpaste when you spit it into the sink or taste a metallic tang, then you’re probably experiencing some form of gum disease. Bleeding gums and gum disease are caused by the inadequate removal of plaque through neglecting to brush and floss properly. Plaque contains bacteria which rest atop the gum line, irritating it and causing infection. They become red, irritated, inflamed, and sensitive. This inflammation and trauma may cause them to bleed during brushing and flossing, and it’s actually one of the first signs of gingivitis or gum disease.
Does gum disease affect your teeth?
Gum disease does affect your teeth, because if left untreated it can cause them to become unstable. Irritated gums will often recede from the teeth they support, creating pockets for more plaque to manifest in and possibly trigger the onset of decay and cavities. When the gum begins to pull away from the teeth, it withdraws its support and reveals lower parts of the tooth, threatening its stability. When left to its own devices, plaque develops into tartar which is much harder to remove and more endangering to your natural teeth. You could be risking a serious gum or tooth root infection and even losing the tooth altogether.
How to prevent gum disease
Preventing gum disease is as simple as cleaning your teeth properly at home. Brushing twice a day is essential to your teeth, but many people overlook the need for flossing at the end of the day too. Flossing removes food debris and plaque between the teeth that otherwise would be left to sit against the surfaces, including the gums. Regular appointments with your dental hygienist are also important, but again this is an important part of visiting the dentist that is overlooked. Dental hygiene professionals are trained to spot the warning signs of gum disease, even if you’re not experiencing bleeding gums yet, and they can provide treatments and advice on how to prevent it.
Symptoms of gum disease
As well as bleeding gums, there are different symptoms of gum disease you should be aware of. The early stages of gum disease are known as gingivitis, which involves sensitivity, light bleeding, and possibly bad breath. Your gums may also be swollen and red at this stage, too. When left untreated, gingivitis develops into periodontitis or periodontal disease – the more formidable stages of gum disease. These symptoms manifest in very unpleasant breath, a foul taste in your mouth, unstable teeth that wobble, and possibly even gum abscesses. If you’re noticing gum recession, you might be in this later stage.
Gum disease is preventable, which is the most frustrating part about how many UK adults it affects. Properly maintained cleaning habits, regular dental hygienist visits, and knowing the warning signs are the ideal ingredients to preventing its occurrence or worsening. Get in touch to book an appointment with our dental hygienist in Sussex, call us on 01903 813212 or simply enquire online today.