You may notice your gums bleeding when brushing your teeth or after biting into an apple. It may be a tiny amount of blood, and it may not hurt at all. But it should not be ignored.
Gums can bleed for different reasons, but unfortunately, we find the problem is commonly procrastinated on. Consequently, many people who experience bleeding gums believe they have “bad gums” and continue to put up with it. Unfortunately, this means the problem is left untreated. In addition, if left untreated, bleeding gums can lead to severe damage to teeth.
At Whitehorse Dental, we encourage anyone experiencing bleeding gums to visit the dentist. Regardless of how long it’s been since you last saw your dentist, the problem is treatable. And it’s easier than you may think.
What causes bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums are a symptom, much like bad breath, of gum infection. The problem is usually caused by plaque and bacteria that’s growing underneath your gums. Specifically, when plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar and continues to irritate your gums, causing them to bleed.
Gum infection not only affects your gums, but also the bone underneath it that holds up your teeth. When a gum infection has been there for a long time, it dissolves away your gum and bone. Eventually if it’s left long enough and there’s not enough bone to support the teeth, the teeth get loose and fall out! Once the bone is lost, you can never grow it back. Which is why it’s important to treat it early so there’s less damage.
No pain doesn’t mean no problem
Unfortunately, when a gum infection dissolves your bone structure, it’s a painless process. In other words, you can’t feel the presence or severity of a gum infection until severe damage has been done. This is why gum disease is one of the most common reasons why people lose their teeth.
Instead, it’s useful to pay attention to early signs of gum infection. These symptoms include bleeding gums and bad breath. If you’re experiencing gums that bleed while brushing your teeth, flossing or eating, this may be tell-tale signs of gum disease.
How to stop gums bleeding
The first thing to do is to book a dentist appointment. No matter how long it’s been since your last visit, now is always the best time to treat bleeding gums. As soon as the problem is treated, you can stop gum disease and bleeding gums in its tracks.
Treatment can range depending on how early or late the problem is picked up. In mild cases where the infection is just in the superficial gums (gingivitis), a simple dental cleaning is all you need. In severe cases where there’s been some destruction of the underlying bone (periodontitis), a deep cleaning under the gum is required. This is done under local anaesthetic so it’s 100% pain free.