Bleeding gums are not normal and is actually a sign of a more serious issue such as periodontal disease. Irritated, red, swollen and bleeding gums are often present in patients who have gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Dr. Robert Cain is a periodontist in Knoxville, TN who treats patients with early signs of gum disease and bleeding gums. He is currently welcoming new patients from Maryville, TN.
The Importance of Gum Health
The gums are part of the soft tissue lining in the mouth and play an important role in your oral health. They protect the teeth roots and underlying bone structure by forming a tight seal at the base of your teeth which creates a barrier against bacteria. They also help hold your teeth in place. Regular teeth cleanings will remove plaque in hard to reach places preventing gum disease from developing. These bi-annual visits will also catch it in the early stages when treatment is more conservative. If left untreated, you risk the chance of the infection reaching your bloodstream which can lead to major health issues.
What Causes Bleeding Gums?
If you notice that your gums are bleeding when you brush, this is clear sign that a problem exists. Bleeding gums are caused by plaque buildup that is not properly removed. Plaque buildup causes your gums to separate and recede from your teeth. Plaque also contains germs that irritate your gums causing them to become inflamed and sore. When your gum tissue is in this condition, brushing or flossing will cause them to bleed. These are the early signs of gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease. If the plaque is not removed, it will eventually turn into tartar and the disease will progress leading to even more damage. Tooth decay will develop and you may even suffer from bone loss and tooth loss.
Pregnancy, vigorous flossing or brushing, dentures that do not fit correctly and certain medications are also causes of bleeding gums. Pregnant women often suffer from gums that bleed due to hormonal changes taking place in the body. We advise that they continue to brush and floss, but be extra careful around delicate gum tissue to prevent bleeding.
For patients with ill-fitting dentures, we advise that they have them adjusted as soon as possible to avoid infection. It is also important for all patients to maintain their oral health with regular dentist appointments. Here, your dentist can monitor your gums health and will be able to spot the early signs of gum disease. It is important to use a soft bristle tooth brush and keep a consistent routine of flossing to avoid bleeding gums.
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
Dr. Cain offers several treatments for bleeding gums at his Maryville, TN area periodontist office. Depending on how severe your condition is, he may recommend the following treatments:
- Periodontal Scaling
- Root Planing
- Tissue Regeneration