Why do my gums bleed when I brush or floss my teeth?
If your gums bleed frequently, this is abnormal and may indicate a more serious oral health condition. For many patients bleeding gums is a telling sign that they have developed gum disease. Gum disease or periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums.
Left untreated, bacteria can spread to the bloodstream causing oral and systemic health problems. Knoxville, TN periodontist Dr. Robert Cain should address bleeding gums as soon as possible for a chance at a conservative treatment of gum disease.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Usually, bleeding gums indicate a problem with periodontal disease. There are multiple different stages of the disease that patients can be suffering from.
This is the first stage of gum disease and the only one that’s actually reversible. Plaque that’s built up on teeth near the gumline starts to irritate and aggravate the gum tissue. Bleeding gums will be the main symptom you’ll notice. Many adults have this stage of gum disease because it’s completely painless. Usually, diligent oral hygiene and an initial deep cleaning can get you back on track. We may also provide you with a medicated rinse to use.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, the bacteria start to destroy the bone structure. Because of this, the disease is no longer reversible but can be managed. Pockets form between the gum tissue and the bone. They’re filled with debris and bacteria that continually irritate you. Scaling and root planing manage the condition at this point. We thoroughly clean those gum pockets and smooth down the tooth roots so that the gum tissue can reattach.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
At this stage, the bacteria continue to get more aggressive. Not only are they attacking bone, but they’re attacking the bloodstream too. The inflammation and infection can start to spread to other parts of your body. Scaling and root planing are typically the solutions for this stage of gum disease as well.
Severe Periodontal Disease
Now, the condition is a full-blown severe infection. Your gums are swollen, sensitive, and ooze pus. It’s hard and painful to chew, and you have severe bad breath. Your teeth begin to loosen and may even fall out if the condition isn’t managed directly. At this stage, the only way to manage the condition is with gum surgery or laser gum treatment.
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
In order to effectively treat your bleeding gums, Dr. Cain must address the root of the problem. If gum disease is the cause of the bleeding, Dr. Cain offers periodontal therapy and treatments that can help restore your gum health. Early diagnosis is essential for conservative treatment.
After a comprehensive dental exam, Dr. Cain will be able to help build a treatment plan specifically tailored to your oral health needs. Some treatment options include:
- Periodontal Scaling
- Root Planing
- Tissue Regeneration
Dr. Cain is a Knoxville area LANAP® provider. LANAP is laser therapy for the treatment of advanced gum disease, even in patients who may have been told that their situation is “hopeless” by another dentist. LANAP can enable you to restore gum health without the need for oral surgery.
Biannual dental check-ups at our Knoxville, TN periodontal office can help you keep your gums healthy and oral bacteria in check. Comprehensive dental exams include a thorough professional dental cleaning that can reach spots regular brushing can not.
Daily brushing and flossing are always essential in keeping your gums and teeth healthy. If you have any questions about proper techniques or need advice on the right products for your oral health, our compassionate dental care team will be happy to advise.
Protecting Your Gum Health
Healthy gums are part of a stable oral foundation. Your teeth rely on healthy gum tissue to help keep them properly aligned. Your gums also help protect the root structure of your teeth. When gums are infected with bacteria, they may be unable to do their job. Gum disease can cause chronic halitosis, teeth to shift, and even lead to tooth loss. Patients with gum disease are more susceptible to tooth decay.
Once the infection spreads to the bloodstream, patients are also at a higher risk of developing systemic diseases such as inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Healthy gums and teeth are the foundation of a beautiful and functional smile.
There are some extraneous factors that could impact the health of your gums and may make you more vulnerable to developing gum disease. Factors affecting your periodontal health can include:
- Lifestyle and dietary habits
- Tobacco use
- Medical conditions
- Certain medications
Bleeding Gums FAQs
How do I stop my gums from bleeding?
The best way to stop your gums from bleeding is to be consistent with your oral hygiene and take good care of your teeth and gums. Rinsing out your mouth with saltwater mixes and hydrogen peroxide is a good way to cleanse and soothe irritated gums. Stress has been shown to make gums bleed. Reducing stress levels and taking or increasing levels of vitamins c and k will also help soothe and reduce bleeding gums.
What causes gum bleeding?
The main cause of bleeding gums is plaque buildup due to poor oral care. Poor oral care can lead to gingivitis. Plaque around the gums can become hard and lead to inflamed, irritated, and bleeding gums. Hormonal changes may also cause bleeding gums.
What is bleeding gums a sign of?
Bleeding gums are one of the main signs of gingivitis. It is also a sign of poor oral care and irritated gums. Bleeding gums are usually due to built-up plaque around the gums. Bleeding gums may also be a sign of pregnancy or hormonal changes.
Should you keep brushing your bleeding gums?
If your gums bleed every time when you brush them, this may be a sign of gum disease. Frequent bleeding gums upon contact is a sign to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Patients should not stop brushing because their gums are bleeding, but they should be more gentle.
Can stress cause bleeding gums?
Stress is a common cause of bleeding gums. Stress lowers the body’s ability to fight infections. This makes patients more prone to infections in the mouth, which cause gums to bleed.
Is bleeding gums an emergency?
Bleeding gums themselves are not an emergency, but many of the things that come with bleeding gums are emergencies. If you are experiencing bleeding gums, it is best to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
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Periodontist Dr. Robert Cain has provided personalized and comprehensive periodontal therapy to patients in the Knoxville, TN area for over 20 years. Dr. Cain is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art periodontal therapy through continuing education and a commitment to patient-focused dentistry.