If you have sensitive gums and are used to seeing a bit of blood in the sink after brushing or flossing, it may be a sign of gingivitis, a progressive gum disease. In fact, gum disease is the leading culprit behind bleeding gums; research shows that one in two Americans have some form of gum disease, and left untreated, this condition can lead to serious health concerns. The first step in bringing your gums back to optimal health is educating yourself about the symptoms and causes of gum disease. Here are some common questions we hear in our practice:
What Causes My Gums To Bleed?
Bleeding gums are generally caused by inadequate plaque removal, which over time allows germs to attack the tissue surrounding your teeth. The tissue then becomes inflamed which causes the gums to bleed. This is considered the initial stage of gum disease, also known as gingivitis. The good news is gingivitis can be easily treated before it progresses any further.
What Happens if Gum Disease is Not Treated?
Progression of gingivitis is known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more serious and has been linked to tooth and bone loss, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and cancer.
What Else Can Make My Gums Bleed?
Lack of vitamins (C &K) or inflamed gums due to pregnancy could also be the cause of bleeding gums. Some conditions and diseases such as thrombocytopenia, hemophilia or scurvy can also cause gums to bleed.
How Can I Stop My Gums From Bleeding?
It’s important to speak with your dentist if you’ve been experiencing bleeding from your gums. Your dentist will be able to properly assess the situation regarding your oral health and provide a solution. In addition to regularly scheduled visits to your local dentist, brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day are the easiest solutions to eliminate bleeding gums. It may take some time to see the bleeding subside as your gums continue to get healthier.
If you’ve been struggling with bleeding gums, know that it’s a common and treatable condition, but it will not go away on its own. It will take time and dedication to improve your oral health, but it can be done. In addition to working with your dentist, maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine will help your gums return to a healthy state. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our Alexandria office today.
Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128 Alexandria , VA 22302