Have you ever brushed your teeth and noticed that your gums bleed a little? Perhaps you didn’t think much of it. However, gums that bleed consistently can hint that something is wrong with your mouth.
Early signs of gum disease
Bleeding is one of the first signs you would notice of gum disease. This happens when your gum line is inflamed due to a bacterial infection. These bacteria can form a plaque that sticks to your teeth that may not be removed from mere brushing or flossing alone. If the plaque builds up, it can infect your teeth and gums, eventually affecting the bone that supports your teeth.
How do you know if you have gum disease? Because it can be quite painless, you need to be aware of its symptoms, such as:
- Gums that bleed easily after you brush or floss.
- Gums that are red, tender, or swollen.
- Sharp pain when you bite or chew.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold.
- Persistent bad breath.
- Loose teeth.
There are three stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: This is the first stage of gum disease, evidenced by swollen bleeding gums. At this point, it can actually be reversed because the bone and tissue has not been affected yet.
- Periodontitis: At this stage, the bone and tissue holding your teeth in place have been affected permanently. The gums start to create a pocket below the gum line where plaque can grow and cause more damage.
- Advanced periodontitis: If you get to this stage, the bone and tissues are being destroyed. Your teeth will loosen and could affect how you eat. You may need to have your teeth removed.
Thankfully, you can help avoid getting to the advanced stages of gum disease. First is proper brushing and flowing. Your dentist can show you the correct techniques to kill excess bacteria and remove damaging plaque build-up.
Next is scheduling regular professional cleaning's by your dentist or dental hygienist. This removes any plaque that has built up since your last visit. Make sure you see your dentist twice a year so that any sign of gum disease is treated in its earliest stages.
We may take our teeth for granted sometimes, but just think of life with painful teeth and gums because of gum disease. Happily, the answer is simple: prevention. See your dentist and say no thanks to gum disease forever.