Unfortunately, up to a third of Americans think it’s normal to see some blood in the sink after brushing and flossing. Although this is common, it’s not normal. It’s a sign of gum disease.
Minor gum disease, gingivitis, can lead to painful, bleeding, or swelling gums. These can be uncomfortable and unattractive. Gingivitis can also progress to periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease.
Periodontitis is when your gums are badly infected, resulting in bone loss around your teeth, infections that can spread to your blood or elsewhere in your body, and eventually tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.
If you have bleeding or swelling gums, it’s best to get treatment before it’s too late.
Visiting Your Dentist
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, it’s time to go now. Gum disease is often associated with hardened plaque deposits, called tartar or dental calculus, that build up around the gumline. These deposits cannot be removed by you at home, and they can provide shelter for bacteria that are infecting your gums.
Your dentist can also evaluate your gums and decide whether you need aggressive treatment or simple changes to your oral hygiene routine will be sufficient.
Changing Your Oral Hygiene
One of the things you can do to improve the state of your gums is to change your oral hygiene habits. You can do this even before going to the dentist, but don’t consider these changes a substitute for seeing your dentist. Some changes to consider:
Make sure you’re brushing at least twice a day
Make sure that every time you brush, you brush for at least two minutes
If your teeth still don’t feel clean after brushing, try switching to an electric toothbrush
Floss every day
Floss before brushing to ensure toothpaste penetrates between your teeth
Your dentist may also recommend other changes, such as using a mouthwash, changing your toothpaste, or other suggestions.
Reducing Bacteria below the Gumline
If your gums are seriously infected and you have lost significant amount of bone around your teeth, your dentist may recommend periodontal treatments to remove bacteria that are building up around your tooth root. There are many ways to do this, from manually scraping the deposits away and smoothing the tooth root to reduce the amount of bacteria that can attach there to lasers that can be used to sterilize these areas. Your dentist will talk to you about which one is best in your case.
To learn more about your gum disease treatment options, please contact Ascent Dental in the Cherry Creek area of Denver today.