What Do Bleeding Gums Mean?
Proper dental care is about more than just your teeth. Sore and bleeding gums are also a common problem that many people see their North Shore dentist about.
Bleeding gums are often a sign of a greater oral health problem or bad oral health habits, and so should not be ignored. At District Dental, a family and emergency dentist in North Vancouver, we help our patients understand why their gums are bleeding and what they can do about it.
Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease
One of the first steps that your dentist will take if you tell them that you have bleeding gums is to look for other symptoms of gum disease. Gum disease is one of the most frequent causes of sensitive and bleeding gums. It is caused by the same plaque bacteria responsible for cavities and tooth decay. If plaque bacteria are allowed to build up in the mouth, then it will begin to attack and damage the gums. The body directs blood to the gums in an effort to help them heal, causing the gums to become swollen and to bleed more easily when irritated.
If gum disease is allowed to progress, then the gums will begin to recede, allowing the bacteria to spread down below the gum line and attack deeper bone structures and connective tissues. Eventually, the teeth can become loose and may even fall out. Thankfully, when caught early, gum disease can be halted and reversed. Going for a regular teeth cleaning with your dentist and practicing good oral hygiene habits at home will keep plaque bacteria at bay, allowing your gums to heal and to stop bleeding.
Other Possible Reasons for Bleeding Gums
While most often a symptom of gum disease, bleeding gums can also be caused by the way that you are brushing and flossing. Many people think that vigorous brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush will do a better job of removing plaque. In reality, however, such brushing habits can wear away at your tooth enamel and damage your gums. Flossing with too much force can also damage the gums, causing them to bleed.
Sensitive and bleeding gums can result from hormonal changes as well, especially in women who are pregnant or at a certain point of their menstrual cycle. Taking blood-thinning medications can also sometimes cause the gums to bleed, especially in people who also have gum disease.
Concerned about Your Gums? Visit a North Shore Dentist Today
It is not normal for gums to bleed after every time that you brush and floss. At District Dental, we can create a personalized treatment plan to reverse the effects of gum disease or address harmful oral health habits. As an emergency dentist in North Vancouver, we can have you seen right away if your bleeding gums are also accompanied by severe tooth pain.
If you have any concerns at all about sore and bleeding gums, then don't hesitate to contact District Dental today.