“Why do my gums bleed whenever I brush or floss my teeth?”
It may indicate a more complex oral health concern if your gums frequently bleed when brushing, flossing, or eating. Bleeding gums should not be considered a normal occurrence and are commonly a sign of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.
Occasional bleeding from brushing too vigorously is nothing to be too concerned about, just brush more gently so you do not cause damage to your gums. Patients should always let their dentist know if they experience any changes in their oral health, including bleeding, swollen or painful gums, loosening of teeth, or a change in their bite.
Santa Monica, CA periodontist Dr. Dall’Olmo provides periodontal therapy treatment options to help patients restore the balance of bacteria in their mouths. Dr. Dall’Olmo uses conservative dental treatments to restore the health and integrity of the gums and teeth affected by the progression of gum disease.
Why Treat Bleeding Gums?
Often left undiagnosed until the later stages, many patients are unaware they have gum disease until their gums are already bleeding. Gum disease is a progressive dental health concern that begins as gingivitis and later develops into periodontitis. It can eventually spread to the bloodstream if left untreated.
A bacterial infection, gum disease, forms deep in the pockets of the gums, causing inflammation. When the gums become inflamed, they begin to separate from the tooth and can cause gum recession, bleeding gums, and even tooth loss.
If periodontitis is not treated, the bacteria can move to the bloodstream, raising the risk of developing systemic health concerns. Patients with advanced gum disease have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, heart attack, and strokes.
Progression of Gum Disease
There are technically four different stages of gum disease. The first is gingivitis. This is the mildest form and the only one that’s reversible. When plaque and debris build up near your gumline, it irritates the soft tissue. Your gums get puffier and bleed easier due to the inflammation. Many adults in the US have gingivitis and don’t even realize it because the symptoms are so mild. It can be hard to tell if you have it when you don’t know what you’re looking for.
The most obvious symptom is frequently bleeding gums. There’s rarely any pain associated with this. Our gums can all bleed occasionally, but it’s important to take note if it’s something that’s happening regularly. If you have gingivitis, we mainly treat it with more diligent oral healthcare. Sometimes we’ll prescribe a special antibacterial rinse to use as well.
As it progresses, it becomes slight periodontal disease. It’s no longer reversible at this stage, but we can manage it. The bacteria become more aggressive and start attacking the jawbone. We use scaling and root planing to manage the condition. Gum pockets form between the skin and the bone, filling with debris and bacteria. We clean out these pockets and smooth down the tooth roots so the gum tissue can re-adhere to the bone.
The infection continues to progress into moderate periodontal disease. The bacteria continue to become more aggressive, and they start attacking your bloodstream as well. When your gums are bleeding, bacteria enter these openings, and the infection and inflammation get carried throughout the body. Scaling and root planing are still used to manage the condition at this stage.
The last stage of gum disease is severe periodontal disease. The bacteria completely evolve. Your gums are bleeding and oozing pus. You have severe bad breath, and it’s painful to chew or bite down on food. Because their support wears away, your teeth become loose and may even fall out. We can only manage it at this stage with gum surgery or laser periodontal therapy.
Schedule a Consultation for Bleeding Gums Treatments Today
If you are experiencing frequent bleeding of the gums, Dr. Dall’Olmo offers advanced and comprehensive treatment options for gum disease. We welcome new and returning patients to our Santa Monica, CA dentist office. We invite patients of all ages from Venice, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, and surrounding communities to see the difference quality and conservative dentistry can make.
Our dental care team is highly trained and provides compassionate dental care to all our patients. To schedule your consultation, contact our Santa Monica, CA dentist office, or request an appointment online.