Bleeding Gums: An Overview
Patients often notice that their gums are bleeding after brushing their teeth. This is because your gums are irritated or inflamed due to plaque buildup. Plaque is the sugary film created by the bacteria in your mouth. If left untreated, it quickly hardens into tartar, which a dentist must professionally remove. Tartar causes inflammation of the gums, which is the first step to developing gum disease. Laurel Smiles Dental Care provides comprehensive treatment for bleeding gums in Laurel, MD.
How to Avoid Bleeding Gums
Your gum line is the easiest place for plaque to fester because most patients do not get close enough to their gums when brushing their teeth. Additionally, most patients skip flossing during their oral health routine.
Improved oral hygiene habits including, daily brushing and flossing, can help you greatly reduce your likelihood of bleeding gums and developing gum disease. You must also schedule an appointment with our Laurel, MD dentist office at least every six months for plaque and tartar removal. These bi-annual visits will also catch gum disease in the early stages when treatment is more conservative.
It is possible that you can have bleeding gums without gum disease. Keep an eye on the bleeding and how often it occurs. It may not be serious if you find it only happening when you brush harder. But if you notice it happening with only light pressure or incredibly frequently, it’s time to be seen in our office.
The Stages of Gum Disease
This is the first stage of gum disease and the only one that’s reversible. The signs and symptoms of this aren’t usually painful, meaning many adults may have gingivitis without realizing it. The most obvious symptom is bleeding gums, especially if it’s happening regularly. Plaque builds up along the gumline, causing irritation and inflammation. We treat this stage with proper oral healthcare and sometimes antibacterial rinses.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, you can no longer reverse the damage, but can manage it. The bacteria are more aggressive and begin attacking the bone structure. Scaling and root planing are used to manage the disease at this stage. It’s a form of deep cleaning. Pockets form between the gums and the bone, collecting bacteria and debris. We clean out those pockets and smooth down the tooth roots so that the gum tissue can reattach to the bone.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
The bacteria continue to get more aggressive in attacking the jawbone. It begins to attack the bloodstream, too. Your blood carries the infection and inflammation from the gum disease to other areas of the body. You may develop conditions in other regions that are because of your gum disease. Scaling and root planing is still the best way to manage the disease at this stage.
Severe Periodontal Disease
If it gets to this stage, the problems are severe. Your gums bleed and ooze with pus consistently, you have persistent bad breath, and it’s painful to chew or bite food. Without treatment to manage it, you’ll also experience bone loss and tooth loss. The only way to manage it at this stage is laser gum treatment or periodontal surgery.
Bleeding Gums Treatment in Laurel, MD
As your trusted dentist in Laurel, MD, our doctors constantly examine your smile for signs of decay or gum disease. At your regular dental checkup, we provide a thorough cleaning of your tooth surfaces. Any accumulated plaque or tartar buildup is removed by our professional, highly-trained dental hygienist team. The hygienists utilize tools to get into areas you’re unable to with normal brushing and flossing.
If you notice that your gums are often bleeding, it is very important to seek treatment from your Laurel, MD dentist. Gum disease is a progressive disease that can lead to further damage, including tooth loss if it is ignored. If we notice that your symptoms have progressed to gum disease, we may recommend one of our affordable periodontal therapy solutions to restore the function of your gums.
Our periodontal therapy solutions include:
- Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth at (and slightly below) the gum line. Root planing smooths root surfaces, so the supportive tissues can reattach to the tooth’s surface. When done in the early stages of gum disease, this will help prevent gum recession and tooth loss.
- Antibiotics: To eliminate the bacteria, an antibiotic may be prescribed in either pill form or to be applied directly to the infected area. An antibacterial mouth rinse also may be prescribed to prevent future buildup. Antibiotics are an effective treatment when you begin to show signs of mild gum disease or gingivitis and bleeding gums.
- Occlusal Adjustment: An improper bite may increase bone destruction attached to your affected teeth. Our doctors may need to adjust your bite so that your teeth meet properly and function better overall. We offer many treatments that will help bring your bite into proper alignment.
Bleeding Gums FAQs
Should I go to the dentist if my gums are bleeding?
If your gums are bleeding consistently or upon light contact, it is a good idea to schedule a visit to your dentist. Gum bleeding can be a sign of gum disease, which, if caught early, we can reverse it with treatment.
What is the treatment for gum bleeding?
The most common at-home treatment for bleeding gums is a saltwater rinse. We prefer that the water is warm to soothe any irritation. The salt draws out bacteria that may cause infection.
Can stress cause bleeding gums?
Stress is a common cause of bleeding gums. Stress takes a large toll on the body and inhibits the body’s ability to fight infections. This increases patients’ risk for inflammation and bleeding gums.
Is it normal for gums to bleed while flossing?
It’s common for gums to bleed mildly when you first start flossing, especially if you are inconsistent. In this case, the bleeding is likely the result of plaque buildup. However, consistent bleeding during flossing isn’t normal and could indicate gingivitis. If the bleeding persists, scheduling a dental visit for a check-up is a good idea.
Can dry mouth cause bleeding gums?
Dry mouth isn’t a direct cause of bleeding gums. However, it can contribute to the conditions that lead to bleeding. Saliva helps clean your mouth and fight bacteria. As a result, you’re at a higher risk for gum disease if you don’t have enough of it. This can cause gums to bleed. To manage dry mouth, drink plenty of water. Also, avoid tobacco and practice good oral hygiene. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office for advice and treatment if dry mouth or bleeding gums continue.
Can you have periodontal disease without bleeding gums?
Yes, it’s possible to have periodontal disease without experiencing bleeding gums. Bleeding gums is a common symptom of gum disease in its early stages (gingivitis). However, not everyone will experience this symptom. Periodontal disease symptoms can include gum recession, persistent bad breath, and loose teeth. The disease can also change the way teeth fit together. Some patients might not notice any symptoms of periodontal disease in its early stages.
Schedule An Appointment for Bleeding Gums in Laurel, MD
If you notice your gums bleeding when you brush, this is a clear sign of a problem. Bleeding gums are caused by plaque buildup that is not properly removed; this is a clear sign that it’s time to make your next dental appointment. Contact our office today at 301-490-7007 to book a dentist appointment or request an appointment online.