Bleeding Gums And Dentist Office Care: What You Need To KnowShare
Do your gums bleed when you brush, floss, or eat? Take a look at what this common periodontal symptom means and how a visit to your dentist can help.
Why Do Your Gums Bleed?
This is one of the most noticeable signs of gum (also known as periodontal) disease. A buildup of plaque along the gum line can cause inflammation and infection. This makes your gums tender and easy to irritate. You may feel discomfort, notice redness, or bleed when something touches or rubs against the affected area.
Is Periodontal Disease Common?
Yes, periodontal disease is common. More than 47 percent of adults ages 30 and older and more than 70 percent of adults 65-plus experiencing this issue, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Do Bleeding Gums Always Mean That You Have Periodontal Disease?
Even though bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal disease, this symptom could have another cause. Sharp foods (such as hard candies) can injure the gums. This can cause bleeding that has nothing to do with an infection or periodontal disease. Likewise, other oral injuries may also result in bleeding from the mouth. These aren't always injuries to the gum area. You may see blood if you bite your tongue or scrape the roof of your mouth. Saliva can push the blood around your mouth, making it appear to come from the gums.
Canker sores and other oral lesions can also cause bleeding in the mouth—especially if food rubs against the sore when you eat or you vigorously brush the area.
How Can A General Dentist Help?
Gum disease may not go away on its own. Bacterial buildup in your mouth can add to plaque formation. This can make gum disease worse and increase the bleeding risk. While at-home oral care, such as proper brushing and flossing, can reduce the symptoms of gum disease, you may still need additional treatment.
The dentist will examine your teeth and either diagnose periodontal disease or a different cause of the bleeding (such as an injury). If periodontal disease is the culprit, they will need to clean your teeth and the gum line.
Deeper pockets of infection may require a root planing and scaling procedure or antibiotics. Root planing and scaling is a deep cleaning that goes below the gum line. Some patients with severe gum disease may need periodontal surgery. A general dentist can refer you to an oral surgeon or periodontist for a surgical consultation.
You will need to stay on top of your at-home oral care after the bleeding stops. The dentist can review the best ways to brush, the oral care products you need for home use, and when to make a follow-up or routine cleaning office appointment.
For more info, contact a local company like Rabel Family Dentistry.