If your gums seem more sensitive than normal lately, and bleed upon brushing or flossing, you may be dealing with the early stages of gingivitis. Gingivitis is basically inflammation of the gums and is the initial stage of gum disease. While gingivitis is no reason to panic, it is something you need to get a handle on before it has a chance to progress. Let’s discuss the cause of your bleeding gums and the solution to the problem.
The direct cause of your bleeding gums is likely plaque build up. When plaque begins to form on your teeth and gums it produces toxins that can irritate your gum tissue. Plaque is basically a film of bacteria that grows when it isn’t removed through daily brushing and flossing. The longer plaque grows, the more damage it can do to your teeth and gums. Luckily, in the early stages of gum disease, the damage can be reversed since it hasn’t yet made its way to the bone and connective tissue that holds your teeth into place.
If your gingivitis is left untreated, it can quickly progress into periodontitis, which is an advanced stage of gum disease. At this point, permanent damage can be done to your teeth and gums. So what’s the best way to stop gingivitis in its tracks? The answer is great oral hygiene.
The better you take care of your teeth and gums at home on a daily basis, the less likely it is that you will need to take extreme measures to save them in the future. You should brush twice a day, every single day, with toothpaste containing flouride. Brushing, combined with daily flossing, is the single best way to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. If you neglect your teeth, plaque will quickly build up. Over time, this plaque can turn to tartar, which is incredibly difficult to remove and can cause a host of issues.
Tartar can typically only be removed with a professional cleaning from your dentist. Visiting your dentist twice a year is advised, since they are able clean your teeth in a way that you simply can’t at home. Also, it’s important to have a thorough dental exam on a regular basis as this is often key in identifying a number of infections and diseases at the earliest stage.
There are a few other things you can do to stop the spread of gingivitis. For one, stop using tobacco products immediately if you currently do so. Smoking and chewing tobacco weaken your immune system and leave you at a higher risk of infection. Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with gum disease, and it can lower the chances for successful treatment.
Also, a healthy diet and plenty of water can go a long way in helping to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Fruits and veggies have nutrients you need to help boost your immune system and fight off infection. They also help increase saliva production, which helps flush food particles out. The healthier you are overall, the better your chances are to avoid any disease or infection.
Bleeding gums can often be a great wake up call. If you have noticed bleeding gums more frequently, it’s important to improve your oral care routine at once. Since you often notice bleeding gums as a first sign of gum disease, it’s typically early enough to reverse the damage and prevent further spread of the disease. If you think you may be seeing early signs of gingivitis, it’s advised to visit your dentist for diagnosis and treatment options as soon as you can.
To read more on this topic, download our free eBook "7 Step Checklist to Determine if You Have Gum Disease".