Oral healthcare problems like gum disease, also known as gingivitis, are ignored by many because they are mostly unnoticeable. Most people are more concerned with tooth problems because they come with noticeable pain whereas, gum disease often has no pain.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums caused by built-up plaque bacteria on the gum line and teeth. It is easily treatable and can be reversed through minimal treatment and regular oral care. Prolonged gingivitis, however, can lead to a more serious gum disease called periodontitis.
Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, causes the loss of supporting bone around your teeth, leading to tooth loss. A dentist can accurately identify plaque buildup, gingivitis, and periodontitis in your mouth and recommend the correct treatments.
Periodontitis is treatable but requires more evasive treatments and may also require a periodontist, a dental specialist. Which is why identifying and treating gum disease in its initial gingivitis stage is crucial for the health and longevity of your teeth and gums.
Signs of Gum Disease
There are a number of signs that you may have gum disease, which should get checked and treated by a dentist. They include:
- Swollen, tender and red gums
- Consistently bad breath even with regular brushing
- Recessed gums
- Changes in biting
- Pus between the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding gums, especially while brushing
What Causes Gums to Bleed?
The main cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis. When plaque mixes with food debris, it forms acids that affect your teeth. The plaque buildup mineralizes to become tartar; this plaque and tartar formation cause swollen gums, which lead to bleeding.
There are many other factors that cause bleeding gums, including but not limited to:
- Heart disease
- Hard brushing
- Hormonal changes, like during pregnancy
What Can You Do?
The first and most important thing to remember is regular oral care in the form of flossing after meals, brushing twice daily, and using mouthwash regularly. This will not only prevent gum disease but can also reverse gingivitis and plaque buildup.
If you are experiencing bleeding gums or any of the mentioned signs of gum disease, you should immediately consult your dental professional and get a diagnosis for your symptoms. It could be gum disease, or it could just be that you brushed too hard; only a professional can confirm.
Additionally, you should regularly visit your dentist twice a year for checkups, even if you have healthy teeth with no signs of oral problems. This is because only a dental professional can identify oral issues, like gum disease, accurately to diagnose and treat the problems before they become more serious.
If you currently do not have a dental professional for your oral health, we highly recommend Dr. Abiodun Adesanya, D.D.S., at My Bowie Dentist for all your dental and oral healthcare needs. He is an experienced dental professional focused on enhancing your total oral health and well-being.