Your gums are just as important as your teeth because they hold your teeth in place. Without the pink tissue surrounding them, your teeth simply would not stay in your mouth and would fall away. As such, gum care is an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth as well as a generally healthy lifestyle. When your gums become sore or inflamed or start to bleed, you may have a serious dental issue.
What can Cause Gum Disease?
The gums are rather sensitive. Over 75% of Americans over 35 have some sort of gum disease. Simply missing a few days of brushing your teeth can make them bleed the next time you use your toothbrush. This is normal, since the gums inflame quite quickly and can take a few days to return to a healthy state. Excessive brushing force or a poor flossing technique on healthy gums can cause bleeding, too. However, the most common cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up at the line between where the gums end and the teeth expose themselves, which in turn causes the aforementioned inflammation. Letting the plaque harden into tartar causes a more severe form of gingivitis called periodontitis. Other infections and diseases, including leukemia and a lack of vitamin K, can also cause bleeding gums. Scurvy is notable as one of the easiest causes to avoid, as a glass of orange juice or a vitamin C supplement will cure it quickly. Differences in hormone balance during a pregnancy can cause surprise bleeding, and blood thinners create a risk, as well. If your gums bleed due to the application of dental equipment such as dentures or retainers, consult your orthodontist for an adjustment.
The Best Cure is Prevention
The most obvious and most effective way to prevent sore or bloody gums is regular mouth care. Daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash will prevent all of the most common causes of gum disease, as well as provide a private setting for discovering problems that can’t be cured easily at home. If your gums bleed and you suspect a cause not related to general gum disease, consult your dentist. You should visit a dentist on a regular six-month basis anyway for checkups and enamel renewals, and this is an excellent time to ask any questions you may have about strange occurrences during daily care routines. Your dentist can give you personalized advice for your needs, or recommend a specialist that may be able to find a non-dental reason such as lacking vitamin K. Remember that when caught early, most gum disease can be reversed with few negative effects. Continued neglect can cause damage up to and including tooth loss.
Olney Dental can answer all of you questions about gum disease and other dentistry procedures. Call us at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online for an appointment. Also, visit Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube to connect with us.