Are Bleeding Gums Serious

Are Bleeding Gums Serious?

The most typical cause of bleeding gums is plaque and tartar buildup at the gum line, which most commonly occurs because of poor oral hygiene. While infrequent or mild gum bleeding isn’t usually serious, chronic or consistent bleeding gums can often be a sign of gum disease, which requires professional intervention. In its early stages, gum disease can be reversed and the gums restored to health, though the only way to achieve this goal is with professional intervention. So, while sporadic or mild gingival bleeding isn’t necessarily serious, regular dental checkups are necessary to ensure that bleeding gums don’t indicate, or lead to, a more serious oral health condition. If your gums bleed chronically or consistently and you haven’t seen your dentist for your recommended checkup, make an appointment to address the issue. Only a dental professional can determine how serious bleeding gums are, and only a dental professional can treat bleeding gums, though there are measures patients can take to reduce the likelihood of bleeding gums and minimize the associated risks.

Most gingival bleeding appears after brushing or flossing the teeth, which can irritate delicate gum tissue. When the gum tissue is inflamed, as is the case when gum disease is present, it is more prone to irritation and bleeding. Gum inflammation is generally caused by not brushing or flossing frequently or effectively enough. Dentists recommend brushing the teeth at least twice daily and flossing daily, but it’s just as important to brush and floss properly as it is to brush and floss often; proper brushing and flossing should be gentle yet thorough, brushing in a circular motion that eases bacterial buildup away from the gums and flossing by gently sliding floss between the teeth and hugging the edges of the teeth up to the gum line. Using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can irritate the delicate gum tissue and cause bleeding, and using an old, tattered toothbrush can lead to inconsistent, inadequate cleaning. Other factors can contribute to bleeding gums, including certain blood-thinning medications or pain relievers, smoking, and hormonal fluctuations, though early gum disease is the most common cause of gingival bleeding. When intercepted early, gum disease can be reversed and the gums restored to health; when allowed to progress, however, gum disease can wreak havoc on the oral tissues, leading to bone and tooth loss and increasing the risk of dental abscess and systemic infection.

The longer bleeding gums go unaddressed, the more serious they become. Once gum disease has been treated, bleeding gums can be prevented with continued effective oral hygiene, which may require learning new brushing and cleaning habits. Some dentists also recommend specialized toothpastes and mouthwashes to prevent the recurrence of gum disease, and improved hygiene habits combined with behavior modification can prevent bleeding gums from returning. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet helps maintain the strength of the oral tissues and the immune system, and quitting smoking can also play a key role in improving both the oral and overall health. Immediate solutions like ice packs and gauze compresses can help staunch bleeding gums over the short term while you wait to see your dentist for a more thorough, comprehensive solution. If you have chronically bleeding gums combined with a fever or painful swelling, see your dentist sooner than later to ensure prompt treatment and prevent destructive infection, and make sure to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings to stop your gums from bleeding in the first place.