If you have healthy gums, your gum tissue with look firm and be pinkish in color. However, unhealthy gums may be red in color, swollen or puffy, tender, or you may be experiencing bleeding gums. When you brush and floss your teeth, healthy gum tissue will not bleed. Approximately 80% of American adults have some form of gum disease, according to the World Health Organization.Dr. Lepore likes to say that “if every time you washed your hands, your fingers bled, how concerned would you be? Why is it then, that when we “wash” our teeth with brushing and flossing that it’s okay? A little blood in the sink is not okay.”
Bleeding gums may be asign of gum disease. In addition to bleeding gums, other signs of gum disease include bad breath (halitosis), receding gums, or even loose teeth.
The most common causes of bleeding gums:
–Inflammation caused by harmful bacterial plaque which accumulates around teeth and at/below the gum-line. This inflammation is your body trying to defend itself against bacterial invasion. These bacteria also release toxins which accelerate the inflammatory process. Bleeding gums, at a minimum is gingivitis. When this process continues, the chronic inflammation can irreversibly erode the bone surrounding the teeth. This process is called periodontitis.
- Hormonal changes (such as pregnancy and menopause)
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Blood thinners
Why is it so important?
The link between the health of your mouth and overall health is known as the oral systemic connection. Certain forms of bacteria in your mouth can result in chronic inflammation, which in turn is linked to heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, and more.
Ways to prevent or reduce bleeding gums:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily.
- Floss your teeth at least once daily.
- Visit your dentist a minimum of twice a year.
- Establish baseline with tests (Salivary Diagnostics – see below) with follow-up testing to see improvement
- Low level hydrogen peroxide delivery via customized trays (PerioProtect – see below)
- Changing the oral flora bacterial flora composition by use of oral probiotics (ProBiora Pro – see below)
How to treat gum disease:
Here at Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry, we can effectively treat your gum inflammation, or if applicable, gum disease through a variety of methods:
- Salivary Diagnostics is a simple test completed in our office to detect oral pathogens that cause decay or gum disease, and can threaten your oral and systemic health. This test can help determine if you are at an increased risk of periodontal disease, decay, heart disease, stroke and more. Click here to learn more
- Prophylaxis Cleaning (Basic Cleaning) – A prophylaxis, or basic cleaning is otherwise known as a healthy mouth cleaning, and is the removal of dental plaque. During your prophylaxis, Dr. Lepore and his team will do a thorough examination of your teeth and gums.
- Periodontal SRP Therapy (Periodontal Therapy Cleaning) – SRP is the removal of harmful dental plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the roots.
- Periodontal Maintenance (Maintenance for Perio Patients) – Type of dental cleaning following periodontal therapy that includes the removal of plaque and calculus from above and below the gumline. The difference between periodontal maintenance and a prophylaxis, is periodontal maintenance treats active gum disease, whereas a prophy is preventive.
- Oral Probiotics: Support gum and tooth health by binding to the teeth and flourishing below the gum tissue. Oral probiotics also promote whiter teeth, fresher breath and greater overall oral health.
PerioProtect: Custom trays are fabricated to correspond to your individualized pocket probing depths, and may be recommended for those who have chronic gingivitis, those undergoing periodontal maintenance, or those with periodontal disease.
The only way to treat gum disease and stop your gums from bleeding is by seeking professional treatment. Call us today to schedule your dental cleaning.