Dental hygiene isn’t just about keeping your teeth healthy but also your gums. Your gums can indicate how good or bad your oral health is. In instances where a little bit of bleeding occurs from your gums, either from harsh brushing, flossing or dentures that don’t fit well, this is normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, if your gums are bleeding regularly without any harsh treatment, then it could be an indication of an underlying disease but also more severe health conditions, such as:
- Periodontitis or periodontal gum disease (advanced gum disease)
- Vitamin deficiency (lack of vitamin C or vitamin K)
- Cancer (leukaemia)
Why Are My Gums Bleeding?
Gums bleed for many different reasons. Bleeding gums are the most common symptom of gum disease though, so it is best to consult a dentist if your gums are constantly bleeding immediately. Most people have mild forms of gum disease known as gingivitis, and others have a more severe form of gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal gum disease.
When proper oral hygiene isn’t maintained, bacteria can build up and form plaque on the enamel of the teeth. If bacteria and plaque aren’t removed properly, it can cause further inflammation of your gums. Eventually, inflammation leads to swollen, red, bleeding gums. If periodontal gum disease is caught early on, it can be cured and reversed alongside an oral hygiene routine. If inflammation is left untreated, it can become a severe, painful and expensive experience. You may even lose teeth or tissue in your mouth.
What Is Periodontal Gum Disease?
Periodontal gum disease is a serious form of gum infection that develops and worsens over time when you have untreated gingivitis. The infection can take root on your gums, jaw tissue and jawbones. If it is not taken care of, it can lead to teeth loosening or falling out and damage to the tissue and bones that support your teeth. With good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, periodontitis is mostly preventable.
What Causes Periodontal Gum Disease?
Many factors can lead to oral infections. Plaque build up is the most common way that periodontitis develops. However, other factors that also increase your risk include:
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Poor oral hygiene
- Drug use
- Hormonal changes, like pregnancy and menopause
- Weight gain
- Poor nutrition and vitamin deficiencies
- Certain medications
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic inflammations
- Broken fillings
- Ill-fitting dentures
Periodontitis affects your mouth but other parts of the body as well. It is usually linked to other health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, respiratory diseases and coronary artery diseases. Preventing infections is the key to avoiding further dental damage.
What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Gum Disease?
Your gums should be examined regularly to ensure you catch periodontal gum disease when it is still curable. Healthy gums are firm and fit nicely around your teeth. However, if they have become infected you may notice:
- Puffy gums
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth
- Loose teeth
- Gaps between your teeth
- Swollen gums
- Changes in your bite
- Difficulty or pain when chewing
- Receding gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Tender gums
- Red or purplish gums
- Pus or bleeding between teeth
- Migration of teeth
These are all symptoms to look out for and monitor. At Stanley St. Dental, we help prevent gum disease and do our best to reverse the damage as much as possible.