Bleeding gums are not normal. For many patients bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that infects the gums and when left untreated can spread to the bloodstream. If your gums bleed when brushing or flossing your teeth it is important to have this dental concern addressed by our dentist in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. David Weinstock as soon as possible.
The Importance of Gum Health
Healthy gums are essential to maintaining the health and integrity of your smile. Healthy gums help keep teeth stable and properly aligned. Infected gums are susceptible to gum recession, which can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss and even shifting of the alignment of your teeth.
Patients with advanced stages of gum disease are also at a higher risk of developing systemic diseases. Inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are all linked to gum disease.
The progression of periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. It is an inflammatory disease that results in the destruction of tooth-supporting bone. The gum inflammation is caused mainly by the accumulation of bacterial plaque below the gum line.
When not removed, bacterial irritants and toxins cause the gums to become inflamed and tender. The tooth-supporting bone responds to this inflammation by simply melting away. Left untreated, the resulting bone loss will leave behind pockets of gum around the affected teeth. These pockets will harbor still more plaque, bacteria, and tartar in an area that is inaccessible to the patient. The progress of the disease will usually accelerate. Periodontal disease is often painless in its early and moderate stages.
Risk Factors Of Periodontal Disease
- Lifestyle and dietary habits
- Tobacco use
- Medical conditions
- Certain medications
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a progressive condition. There are three main phases of the disease. Gum disease is best treated if diagnosed in the earliest stages.
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. During this stage, patients may notice bleeding, swelling, or tenderness in the gums. When diagnosed with gingivitis, a deep cleaning may be all they need to heal their gums.
- Periodontists: As plaque continues to form around the tooth, deep pockets begin developing in the gums creating ideal breeding grounds for bacteria.
- Advanced Periodontists: If left untreated, periodontists will begin to cause the gum line to recede and may begin to deteriorate the surrounding bone structure. Without substantial bone structure, teeth may shift or fall out and the jawline may begin to recede.
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
To stop bleeding gums, Dr. Weinstock must address the cause of the problem. Our Philadelphia, PA dentist office provides scaling and root planing for the treatment of periodontal disease. Scaling and root planing cleanse the gums and teeth of infection so that they can properly heal.
Dr. Weinstock will polish the tooth surface and thoroughly clean the roots and the surrounding tissues. This treatment will establish the healthy environment necessary for healing. For many patients, scaling and root planing is the only procedure necessary to restore health and function to your gums. However, in more advanced cases additional treatments may be necessary to eliminate periodontal pockets through surgical intervention. For your comfort, a local anesthetic can be used during the procedure.
If you have any questions about how scaling and root planning can help you preserve your beautiful smile, please ask the doctor or hygienist.
Bleeding Gums FAQs
What causes bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums is caused by a variety of health issues such as plaque buildup, heart disease, diabetes, brushing too hard, and gingivitis. It can also signify a vitamin deficiency. Typically this is a sign of a vitamin C and vitamin K deficiency. Another cause of bleeding gums in women may be pregnancy or hormonal changes.
Can a nutrient deficiency cause bleeding gums?
A vitamin deficiency can be the cause of your issue of bleeding or sensitive gums. Having low levels of vitamin c is the main vitamin that contributes to this. Vitamin K also contributes to gum bleeding. Taking external supplements of these, or eating foods high in vitamins may help if you are experiencing bleeding gums.
What can it mean if my gums are bleeding?
Bleeding gums are often a direct result of built-up plaque in the gums. Plaque is full of germs and unhealthy bacteria that attack your healthy soft tissue in the gums. When the gums have plaque in them they are being attacked they become red and inflamed which may cause them to bleed. Bleeding is especially common when brushing and flossing.
Is it okay for my gums to bleed while flossing?
No, if your gums are bleeding while you are flossing, then you are not properly caring for your oral health. Bleeding gums while flossing or brushing is caused by built-up plaque around the gums and inadequate care for your teeth and gums. If your gums are bleeding it means that they are irritated and attempting to defend themselves from outside germs.
Schedule a Dental Exam with our Dentist in Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Weinstock is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art periodontal therapy to patients in the Philadelphia, PA region. If your gums are bleeding, swollen, or you notice any changes in the fit of your bite or oral appliance, contact our Philadelphia PA dentist office or schedule a consultation online.