Bleeding Gums NOT A Good Sign!

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Unfortunately, many Americans perceive that seeing blood while brushing is a good sign, assuming it shows they’re doing a great job. The fact is – Healthy gums do not bleed while brushing! Bleeding gums indicate a problem that needs to be addressed while treatment can be minimal. Delay only allows the problem to worsen, resulting in more time and expense in the future.

Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common cause (and an early warning sign) for gums that bleed while brushing, it is also the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S. Gum disease begins with gingivitis, which occurs from a bacterial build-up of plaque. This irritates the gums, causing them to bleed and become swollen and tender.

Other contributors can make gum tissue more vulnerable to oral bacteria and the development of gum disease. These include:

   • Overzealous brushing, brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush or using an abrasive substance, such as baking soda. These cause more harm than good to teeth and gum tissue.
   • Drugs can contribute to gums that bleed easily. These include antidepressants, nasal sprays and oral contraceptives.
   • Smoking has a drying effect on gum tissue. Smokers typically have more calculus than non-smokers from the irritation of the chemicals in cigarette smoke.
   • Vitamin K deficiency interferes with the body’s process of blood clotting. This can also result in gums that bleed.
   • Certain changes in hormonal levels can cause red, tender and swollen gums.

When bleeding gums are dealt with in early stages, a thorough dental cleaning and committed oral care regimen at home can often halt the progression of gingivitis leading to gum disease. Act now by seeing a Periodontist for treatment. A Periodontist specializes in the treatment of all phases of gum disease. He or she can work with your dentist to determine an appropriate treatment to restore your smile to a healthy state.

Call (828) 274-9440 to learn more.

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