Causes of Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease

Causes of Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease

Even thinking about bloody gums and teeth is unsettling. But these are what happens when you have gum disease, which is another name for gingivitis. If you don’t treat it right away, not only will your gums bleed, but you could also lose your teeth. Luckily, you can avoid this painful possibility by taking care of your teeth and going to the dentist regularly. Read on to learn more about how sneaky gum disease is and how to spot it and keep it from happening.

What is Gingivitis? What is Gum Disease?

Gingivitis starts when the gum tissues around the teeth become infected and swollen. Most of the time, it’s because of bad oral health, but there are other reasons as well. When gum disease is found and treated when it is still in the gingivitis stage, it can be healed and any damage to the teeth and gums can be fixed. But if it isn’t addressed, it will become a periodontal disease and then periodontitis. At this point, any damage that has been done is permanent. You can treat and stop the disease, but you won’t be able to undo any harm.

It’s a problem that a lot of people have, which is sad. Nearly three-quarters of American people have some form of gum disease, but only about 15% of them know it. Teens older than 14 have gum disease in almost two-thirds of the cases. About 30 percent of kids and adults who know they have gum disease have it because of their genes. This means that they are likely to get gum disease no matter how well they take care of their teeth. But only a doctor can make this diagnosis, and you should always take care of your teeth and gums, even if gingivitis runs in your family.

How Does Gum Disease Impact My Overall Health?

Anything you put in your mouth, whether it’s good for you or bad for you, can end up inside your body. Gum disease starts when you don’t get rid of the bacteria in your mouth at least once a day. Plaque and gum disease form over time, which leads to tooth loss and cavities. The bacteria that cause gum disease can get into your bloodstream through the thin, permeable membranes in your lips. From there, they can spread to other parts of your body.

Research has shown that gum disease is linked to big health problems like diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, bone loss, and dementia. If you don’t treat periodontal disease, it will kill the ligaments that hold your teeth in your gums, cause your jawbone to break down, and change the shape of your face. Your teeth are the first part of your digestive system, so if you don’t take care of them, you won’t be able to absorb nutrients from your food. This will hurt your digestive system, which will hurt your general health.

Even though it may be hard to believe, not brushing and cleaning your teeth properly and enough can cause a lot of damage. Good oral care can help you avoid all of the problems listed above and keep your oral and overall health in good shape for the rest of your life. You’ll have a nicer smile if all of your teeth are real and there are no gaps, braces, or false teeth.

What Kinds of Habits Can Lead to Gum Disease?

Poor oral health is the main thing that will lead to gum disease. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day and use an antibiotic mouthwash after you brush. Your oral care plan should also include going to the dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. If you can’t make it twice a year, make sure you go at least once a year. Even if you take good care of your teeth and gums, your dentist may be able to spot small problems that can be fixed before they get worse.

In addition to how well you take care of your teeth, the following things can also cause gingivitis:

  • Changes in hormones can make gums more sensitive and make gingivitis more likely.
  • Cancer, diabetes, and HIV can all weaken the immune system, making gum disease more likely to start.
  • Some prescription drugs can make your mouth dry as a side effect. When there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth, germs aren’t easily washed away, which can lead to gum disease.
  • Dry mouth can also be caused by not drinking enough water, so drinking a lot of plain water throughout the day can help lower the risk of getting gingivitis.
  • There are poisons in tobacco that hurt the gum tissue. Any kind of tobacco use increases the amount of toxins in the body and makes it harder for the gums to heal themselves. This makes gum disease more likely to start.
  • Poor eating habits that include eating a lot of sugar and carbs make it easy for germs to grow and spread.

What Gum Disease Symptoms Should You Look Out For?

Even though some people have gingivitis for a long time and don’t know it, there are usually signs and symptoms that show it’s there, like:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or after you floss
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Bite changes
  • Lips that are red and swollen
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away
  • There are spaces between the teeth and gums
  • You have poop in your teeth
  • Pain
  • Loss of gums

If you notice any or all of these, you should call your dentist right away to make an appointment. Gingivitis can show up without any symptoms, so if you have symptoms, it may mean that your disease has progressed to a more serious stage.

Things I Should Know About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease starts with gingivitis. If you don’t treat gingivitis, it will turn into periodontitis, a more dangerous disease, and then into advanced periodontitis. You’ll get spaces between your teeth, where food and germs can get stuck and cause a more serious infection. Over time, your jawbone and the structure of your face will break down, along with the muscles that hold your gums in place. You will lose all of your teeth, and at that point, the only thing left to do is expensive and painful dental work to rebuild them. Brushing and flossing regularly is faster and cheaper.

Chronic periodontitis is what happens to most people. But severe periodontitis can happen to people who are otherwise healthy. It is a very aggressive disease that will kill your gums, jawbone, and teeth very quickly. Necrotizing periodontitis is a type of gum disease that kills cells in the gums and teeth. It is most common in people with weak immune systems.

Is Gum Disease Preventable?

By following these tips, you can avoid gum disease and all the damage and loss it causes:

  • Eat a healthy diet with few processed and refined foods, especially sugars and carbs
  • Maintain good hydration
  • At least twice a day, and especially right before bed, you should brush your teeth
  • At least once a day, and best right before bed, floss your teeth
  • After you brush and floss, use an antibiotic mouthwash
  • Use toothpaste, a toothbrush, and mouthwash that are allowed by the ADA

Taking care of your teeth and gums will give you health and dental benefits for the rest of your life. Start your good oral hygiene program today.

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