Nothing can quite compare to brushing your teeth and realizing that the bristles of your toothbrush came away with a slight red tinge from your bleeding gums.
Before you start panicking, take a quick inventory of your hygiene routine. Do you brush and floss your teeth as often as you should? When was the last time you checked in for a dental appointment?
Bleeding gums can be a simple reminder to improve your hygiene habits or a more serious warning sign of dental disease. Read on to learn what might be at the root of your bleeding gums problem.Common Causes of Bleeding Gums Poor Hygiene
The most common cause of bleeding gums is poor oral hygiene. As food particles get stuck and rot between your teeth, plaque, tartar, and bacteria builds up in between your teeth near the gum line. Many people think that all they need to do is a quick brush of their teeth twice a day to get rid of this buildup.
This is simply not true.
Many dentists actually cite flossing as a more important, though often more neglected, practice than brushing. Some dentists have even said that if you have to pick between brushing and flossing (which you never should have to do), pick flossing.
Regular, proper flossing clears the gum line of the buildup, which strengthens the gums. Brushing your teeth clears your mouth of surface stains and any food that is stuck to your teeth.
Subpar oral hygiene habits can lead to bigger dental problems in the future. Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day and floss at least daily.Gingivitis
Poor dental hygiene can lead to gingivitis, which is the medical term for inflamed gums. Gingivitis is a fairly common ailment. Some dentists estimate that 50% of the population will experience gingivitis at some point in their lives.
Essentially, as the tartar, plaque, and bacteria infects your mouth, your body sends blood to your gums to fight off the infection. This extra blood, along with the infection, is why your gums bleed when you brush them. As gingivitis worsens, your body can mistake your tooth for the infection and start attacking your mouth to try to remove it.
Fortunately, gingivitis is completely reversible. Simply changing your oral hygiene habits can put you back on track. If your gums bleed consistently, brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least twice a day. The tartar build up, however, will require a trip to the dentist. Refusing to change your habits, however, can cause the condition to worsen.Periodontal Disease
If left untreated, gingivitis develops into the more serious periodontal disease. As your body seeks to fight off the infection and your tooth, the periodontal disease spreads from your gums to the surrounding tissue and bone.
The infected gum tissue will be raw and seem to pull away from teeth. You might start to notice pus around your gums. Periodontal disease, if not treated, often results in tooth and severe bone loss. You might even experience tooth death, which is when the nerve inside your tooth dies. At this point, not even a root canal can save your tooth’s foundation.
If you notice yellow secretions around your gums and teeth, experience any tooth pain, or your gums regularly bleed when you brush your teeth, schedule an appointment with your Edmonton dentist as soon as possible.Pregnancy or Hormonal Changes
Bleeding gums is not always a sign of poor oral hygiene habits. Hormonal levels fluctuate during pregnancy, which causes extra blood to be sent to gums and tissue. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy hormones also increase the body’s reaction to bacteria, which can in turn, increase the likelihood of developing periodontal disease.
Visit your Edmonton dentist more often when you are pregnant, switch to a softer toothbrush, and increase your oral care regimen to protect yourself from dental and gum disease.Bleeding Disorder
If your dental hygiene habits are excellent and you are not pregnant or experiencing hormonal changes from any medication, your bleeding gums may be a symptom of something more serious.
Bleeding disorders, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic (ITP) are often first noticed because of bleeding and bruised gums. These symptoms are simply signs of the blood’s inability to clot.
ITP is treatable and rarely fatal. If think that bleeding gums may be a sign of a bleeding disorder, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Edmonton at Azarko Dental. We can rule out any dental issues and refer you to a specialist.
Regardless of the reason for your bleeding gums, it is essential to determine the root cause of the problem and to start treatment right away. As you exercise proper dental care, most causes will cease to be an issue.
Do what you need to do to make dental hygiene a priority. Post reminders in your bathroom or even set up a reward system. Take whatever steps are necessary to ensure yourself a happy, healthy smile for years to come.Call Azarko Dental in Edmonton for more information on gum disease and proper oral hygiene at our West Edmonton dentist office 780-483-7079.