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Posted on: March 11, 2021
Causes of Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease
You may have noticed minor bleeding when you brush and floss, but if it happens only occasionally, then you probably don’t pay much attention to it because it will go away, right? Not necessarily. Bleeding gums can be an indicator of a more serious issue such as gingivitis or periodontal disease, neither of which will self-heal and both of which can cause serious health problems when they’re left untreated. Please continue reading to learn more about gum disease, its effects on your body, and how to avoid it.
What Causes Gum Disease to Develop?
Although there are other causes, the primary reason that gum disease develops is inadequate oral hygiene. You may brush, floss, and use mouthwash once daily without fail, but that’s inadequate for what we consider high-quantity care. If your oral hygiene regimen only takes a minute each day, then you need to improve the quality of it. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush for at least two minutes at a time, at least twice each day, and that you floss and use an ADA-approved mouthwash each time.
When you detect and treat gum disease in its initial stage of gingivitis, it can be cured and any damage that’s been done can be reversed. However, if gingivitis isn’t treated, it will become periodontal disease and the damage can no longer be reversed. When periodontal disease continues, it progresses to periodontitis and then to advanced periodontitis. At that point, you’ll have suffered irreversible and substantial damage to your gums, your jawbone, and any remaining teeth, most of which will have fallen out. Your only option once you’ve reached the advanced periodontitis stage is to have reconstructive dental work, which is painful, both to your body and your checking account. Amazingly, this can all be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly and adequately.
How Will Gum Disease Cause Health Problems?
Research has indicated a direct correlation between a history of periodontal disease and major health problems. Additional problems is a logical extension of gum disease. Since infection and inflammation are present from the onset of gum disease, it’s very easy for the bacteria to penetrate the thin membranes of the mouth and be absorbed into the bloodstream. They’re then carried throughout the body and absorbed by every major organ in the body. Science has proven that inflammation is deleterious to all organs of the body. Inflammation is a hallmark of gum disease, so if you want to maintain a healthy body, it’s essential that you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
What Causes Gum Disease to Develop?
Lack of proper oral hygiene is the primary cause of gum disease. Adequate brushing and flossing removes bacteria from your mouth, which will keep it from settling between your gums and teeth and causing inflammation and infection, which are the two conditions that trigger the onset of gingivitis. After you eat or drink, especially foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars, a substance called plaque begins to form on your teeth. When not removed through brushing and flossing, then the bacteria settle between your teeth and gums and begin to proliferate. Plaque covers the bacteria and becomes tartar, which is very hard and can only be removed by a dentist. This provides an ideal environment for the bacteria to multiply and attack your teeth, gums, and jawbone. For this reason, brushing and flossing at least twice daily are essential. Removing any bacteria before they gain a stronghold in your mouth is the key to avoiding gingivitis.
Although many people eschew flossing as unnecessary, it is, in fact, a vital step in good oral hygiene. It only takes a minute particle of food to start the decay process, especially when it remains undisturbed overnight. If you floss only once each day, make sure that it’s just before you retire for the night so that no food particles remain in your mouth while you’re sleeping.
Other factors that contribute to the onset of gum disease include:
- A poor diet that’s high in sugar and carbohydrates
- Fluctuations in hormones that cause the gums to be more sensitive
- Inadequate hydration
- Prescription medications that cause dry mouth
- Severe illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and HIV because they adversely affect the immune system
- Tobacco use in any form because it deposits toxins and compromises the immune system
The more of these factors you have, the greater the likelihood of your developing gum disease.
Do I Have Any Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Sometimes, gingivitis presents asymptomatically. Other times, you may have minor bleeding during and after brushing and flossing and sometimes you may experience minor pain. You may also notice the following:
- A persistent bad taste in your mouth
- Bite changes
- Chronic bad breath
- Loosened teeth
- Minor pain
- Pockets between the teeth and gums
- Pus between your teeth
- Receding gums
- Swollen and Inflamed gums
If you notice any of these, then you should consult your Suffern dentist without delay. The sooner you receive treatment for your gum disease, the more successful it will be and the less likely you’ll be to suffer permanent damage.
What Facts Should I Know About Developing Periodontal Disease?
Most people develop chronic periodontitis. It’s slow-growing and the easiest to treat and prevent. Those who have suppressed immune systems sometimes develop necrotizing periodontitis, which kills the ligaments that secure your teeth, the gum tissue, and your jawbone. Aggressive periodontitis works very quickly and most often occurs in people who are otherwise healthy. However, you need a professional diagnosis to determine which type of periodontal disease you have, so if you notice any of the above symptoms, be sure to get a dental checkup.
Which Methods Are Best for Preventing Gum Disease?
The best method for preventing gum disease is to adopt a regimen of good oral hygiene as recommended by the American Dental Association. Be sure to include regular dental checkups and cleanings, and for the best results, you should be seen twice a year. If that’s not feasible, be sure to have annual checkups at a minimum. Some people, approximately one-third of the adult population, are more prone to develop gum disease because they have a genetic predisposition to the disease, but this needs a professional diagnosis. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, then call your Suffern office to schedule an appointment.