I have bleeding gums. Should I be worried?
The main symptoms of conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis include bleeding and swollen gums. So if this is your case, it is important to stop viewing bleeding gums when brushing your teeth as something normal, and you should also visit a dentist to maintain your oral health and to avoid future oral complications that are often irreversible.
One serious mistake that you should avoid is to stop brushing your teeth in the belief that the bleeding is caused by brushing or the use of dental floss; the problem is in your gums. What you can do is control the intensity with which you brush your teeth or move the dental floss between your teeth.
If you have swollen gums, an overly aggressive dental hygiene routine can cause them to bleed even more, but that does not mean that you should abandon your dental cleaning routine. Apart from being counterproductive, it could be very damaging for your oral health.
You might ask yourself, why do gums bleed? In this blog we will answer this question and we will tell you when you should be worried about your gums and when you should go to the dentist.
Why do gums bleed?
Gums are healthy when, among other signs, they do not bleed. Any type of gingival bleeding is a warning that there is an inflammation of the soft tissue and this is normally caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque on the surface of the teeth and tartar on the teeth and gums.
This accumulation of microbial agents, which are initially white and yellow in colour and with a soft texture, is normally produced by a regular dental hygiene routine. On the other hand, the anatomy of our teeth and the fact of wearing a fixed orthodontic appliance also increase the probabilities of a larger amount of plaque accumulating in the mouth. In these cases, it is more difficult to clean all the corners of the mouth completely.
However, the accumulation of plaque is not the only cause of swollen gums; apart from certain injuries and medicines, some virus and systemic diseases also cause gingival bleeding. Similarly, some hormonal changes, such as those that pregnant women suffer, also increase the risk of suffering from gingivitis. This happens during the second and third quarter of the pregnancy.
When should you be worried about your gums?
Gingivitis is the main pathology caused by the accumulation of dental plaque. This disorder appears when there is an excess of bacterial plaque that is not duly removed and which then goes on to calcify over time, and to invade further zones of the mouth. Therefore, you should pay attention to the symptoms of gingivitis, and you should take action and control your oral hygiene. The good news is that this condition can be reversed.
As soon as you notice bleeding gums, the formation of plaque, inflammation or halitosis, in other words an unpleasant smell from your mouth, you should arrange a visit to a dental clinic. An oral health professional will assess your situation and will indicate the proper guidelines that will allow you to care for your gums and eliminate the causes of the inflammation.
If the gingivitis is not detected, this disorder will progress and it can result in periodontitis, which is an irreversible pathology that affects all the tissues that support the teeth, and it can produce serious complications. If it is not diagnosed and treated in time, people with periodontitis run the risk of suffering from receding gums, halitosis, moving teeth and even the loss of the bone that supports teeth, or they could lose the teeth completely.
- Tobacco smoking.
- Deficient nutrition.
- Patients with some kind of systemic disease.
- Persons who are receiving treatment that affects their immune system.
- Constantly suffering episodes of stress or hormonal changes.
Warning signs from your gums:
- Bleeding gums: As we have mentioned throughout this blog, bleeding gums are not a normal occurrence and when they do occur, this means that there is an inflammation in the area, and it is important to locate the source.
- Long-tooth sensation: If you can see parts of your teeth that you could not see before or if you notice that your gums are receding, this could mean that you are losing grip around your teeth.
- Your teeth change position or move: Once the teeth lose their grip, the force exerted by the lips, tongue or the grip of the teeth themselves can cause your teeth to change position. On the other hand, moving teeth is a clear sign that you have a serious disease in your gums.
- Sensitive and painful teeth: If you feel discomfort or feel a sensitivity in your teeth whenever you consume very cold or hot drinks or foods, this means that the root of the tooth may have been left exposed due to receding gums. The pain is normal in people who are suffering from periodontal disease, but it is also frequent for it not to appear, and for this reason you should pay close attention to all the signs.
- People with diabetes. People who suffer from diabetes should pay even closer attention to the state of their gums as periodontitis is also a complication of diabetes.
- Cardiac or vascular diseases. If you suffer from cardiovascular or vascular disease it is highly recommended that you closely monitor the state of your gums and visit the dentist every year, as matters could get complicated. On the other hand, the infection caused by the accumulation of bacteria could move directly into the bloodstream and lead to complications as serious as a heart attack or a stroke.