Bleeding after brushing or flossing, or just at seemingly random times, can be an indication of unhealthy oral tissues. Individuals may think bleeding gingiva, the gums, is normal, especially after flossing their teeth in Leesburg, VA. But it’s typically a signal to change the dental hygiene routine and visit a dentist.
Irrespective of the cause, bleeding gingiva is a warning sign that bigger issues are on the horizon. Learn how patients can navigate around those issues.
What Causes Bleeding Gums?
Possibly the most typical cause of bleeding gingiva is gum disease – called gingivitis in its early stages and periodontitis when it becomes advanced. Gum disease can cause the gingiva to bleed randomly during the day, while eating, after flossing, or while brushing teeth.
Smoking cigarettes is another major contributor to bleeding gingiva, as it can inhibit the body’s immune system and contribute to the inflammation of the gums. Other causes are also associated with lifestyle choices, such as adhering to an unhealthy diet, but genetics and chronic illnesses can facilitate gum disease as well.
Telltale Signs That You May Have Gingivitis in Leesburg, VA
Many people who have been diagnosed with gingivitis by a periodontist say that they had little warning of problems. Upon further reflection, some realize that their symptoms were so minimal that they overlooked them for months.
Because gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, many of the signs start gradually. However, any time patients see a change in their mouth, they should notify a dental professional. Below are some of the first indicators of developing gingivitis that should never be ignored:
Everyone experiences bad breath once in a while, especially after eating foods that contain strongly flavored ingredients, like onion and garlic. Bad breath that does not go away with proper hygiene, like brushing teeth and the tongue, may be a cause for concern. The bacteria that cause gum disease in Leesburg, VA, can make a person’s breath smell bad, too.
Normal, healthy gums tend to look uniformly pink. When they become irritated and inflamed due to the presence of bacteria, they may become puffy and red. They may also feel tender. If a patient’s gums start to look or feel unnatural based on their dental history, they should alert their periodontist. In some cases, the reason may be gingivitis.
Though a person’s gums may occasionally bleed slightly right after flossing, they should not bleed suddenly or without an underlying cause. Spontaneous bleeding, such as when eating a meal, needs to be checked out by a doctor who can identify whether or not a patient has gingivitis.
At-Home Remedies To Prevent Gingivitis
The best way for a patient to prevent the symptoms of gingivitis from occurring, is to pay attention to at-home dental care. Some of the tried and true ways to stop gingivitis before it begins are listed here:
Do Not Start Smoking:
If a patient already smokes, they should work with a smoking cessation program provider to quit.
Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day:
Once in the morning and once at night are usually all a patient needs to make certain that their teeth and gums are getting clean. Be sure to add flossing into the routine, too.
Drink Lots Of Water:
When drinking water, people help their mouth remove any debris and bacteria more efficiently.
Eat Well-Balanced Meals And Snacks:
Believe it or not, crunchy vegetables and fruits can be powerful allies in the battle against gingivitis and the development of gum disease! When eating raw, crisp produce items like apples, celery sticks, and carrots, they can help clean a person’s teeth and stimulate their gums.
Patients should keep their preventative dental appointments. Twice a year, patients should visit a dentist to get their teeth properly cleaned.
Advanced Gum Disease
As was already mentioned, gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Left untreated, or inadequately treated, it will progress to periodontal disease, which does long-term and eventually irreversible damage without urgency and proper care. When gum disease advances to periodontitis, patients may see plenty of other evidence of the problem beyond bleeding gums:
- Tender or inflamed gingiva
- Pus between the gingiva and tooth
- Shifting or loose teeth
- Receding gingiva
- Sensitivity to cold and hot foods and drinks
- Changes in the way the teeth come together while biting
How Dentists Can Cure Gingivitis
Periodontitis is manageable but not curable. On the other hand, gingivitis can be cured with proper treatments. One of the most reliable ways to get rid of gingivitis and stop it from returning is through scaling and root planning.
During the scaling and root planning procedure, a periodontist uses special tools to expose the affected gingival area as well as the adjacent teeth. Using safe, effective equipment, the periodontist can remove the unwanted bacteria. No more tartar. No more plaque. And no more gingivitis-causing bacteria.
Once a patient’s gums have been treated, they will heal and reattach over the coming days and weeks. It is essential to follow any at-home care instructions, like using an antimicrobial oral rinse, to get the full effect from the scaling and root planning procedure. In most cases, scaling and root planning cures early-stage gingivitis.
Come To Our Office
To get back on track after realizing you have gingivitis, it’s essential to brush regularly and to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Brushing your teeth after each meal is a must for everyone but is especially critical to those with gum disease.
Get in contact with our doctor, Dr. Jean-Claude Kharmouche, in our NOVA Perio Specialists-Periodontics and Dental Implants office to schedule an appointment today! Get answers to set out on a treatment plan to help put bleeding gums behind you.