Despite what many people believe, gums that bleed are not normal. Bleeding gums are one of the most obvious symptoms of gum disease. In most cases, it is the first sign to alert a patient they may have gingivitis, the beginning stages of gum disease. Brighter Smile Family Dentistry and Orthodontics is a full-service dental practice that offers treatment for bleeding gums in Sterling, VA. If you have not visited your dentist recently, you should schedule a routine dental exam. During a routine dental exam, your dentist can check for signs of gum disease and make any treatment recommendations based on your needs.
Bleeding Gums Causes
The most common cause of bleeding gums is plaque. Plaque is the sticky, colorless film full of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth and gum line. It must be regularly removed or else it can lead to progressive damage to your oral health. This is why daily brushing is so important. Plaque can also hide in places where a toothbrush cannot reach. Routine visits to your dentist will help you keep these areas in your mouth clean and plaque free.
When plaque is left behind to build up on teeth, the bacteria in it will make its way to the gum line. When bacteria reach the gum line, it causes a bacterial infection of the gums which can lead to inflammation and swelling. This is what causes the gums to bleed and the beginning stages of gum disease. If left untreated and you ignore your bleeding gums, gum disease can progress and destroy the gum tissue and the surrounding bone structure leading to tooth loss.
However, there are other reasons your gums could be bleeding. Simply brushing and flossing too hard or using a toothbrush with rough bristles can also lead to bleeding gums. Dentures wearers often have to deal with ill-fitting dentures that rub against their gums causing them to bleed. Certain medications, pregnancy, and other hormonal changes can all cause a person’s gums to bleed. If any of these are the reasons your gums bleed, you should continue to brush your teeth, floss, and care for your teeth as you normally do. However, we also suggest using soft bristle tooth brush, using gentle strokes while brushing, and keep a close eye your gums. If your gums continue to bleed, please give us a call.
What Are The Signs of Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is a serious oral health condition that should never be ignored. The potential affects can be serious, leading to tooth loss, bone loss, and systematic health problems such as heart disease. It often develops slowly and the signs may be easy to dismiss. However, gum disease will progress without treatment and there are many sign and symptoms of gum disease including:
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Bleeding gums
- Plaque build-up
- Swollen, red, tender gums
- Redness or soreness in the gums
- Shifting teeth
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Pain or difficulty chewing
- A change in the fit of your dentures
- Change in bite
- Pus between teeth and gums
How To Treat Bleeding Gums
To determine the stage of gum disease, our team will need to examine the condition of your teeth and gums. We will check for signs such as bleeding gums, loose teeth, inflammation, bone loss, and plaque build-up. Based on the results of our exam, our team can recommend the appropriate solution for your smile.
Our office offers a wide range of periodontal therapy treatment options for patients with varying stages of periodontal disease. If you have lost teeth to gum disease, we can treat the effects after treatment with replacement options such as dental implants, dentures, partial dentures, or other solutions.
Treatment options for gum disease and bleeding gums in Sterling, VA:
- Scaling and root planing: Most people with gum disease will need scaling and root planing. This is a non-surgical periodontal treatment that will remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth and roots below the gumline. It removes the infection, prevents further infection from occurring, reduces inflammation in the gums, and helps the gums reattach to the teeth roots.
- Antibiotics: If your bleeding gums were caught early, we will thoroughly clean your teeth and prescribe an anti-bacterial rinse or an oral antibiotic. Adding a rinse to your improved oral hygiene routine will help keep the oral bacteria in check. A round of antibiotics will help control bacterial infection and promote healing.
- Gum surgery: If you suffer from a more advanced case of periodontal disease, you may need gum surgery. There are several types of periodontal surgeries including pocket reduction surgery. Here, we aim to reduce the size of periodontal pockets to prevent bacterial growth. You may also need a free gingival graft to thicken your thinning gums or a connective tissue graft to recontour the gum line and cover the exposed tooth roots.
- Bone grafting: More advanced cases of periodontal disease may have bone loss. In these cases, we may recommend a bone graft to build back up the bone tissue.
The main goals of treatment are to control the infection and minimize your risk of reinfection and tooth loss. The type of treatment you will receive will depend on your unique needs. Our team will work with you to restore health to your gums and explore ways to maintain a healthy smile.
How To Improve Your Gum Health
Our team at Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics in Sterling, VA works with patients of all ages to improve the health of their teeth and gums. If you notice that your gums are bleeding or if you have not been to the dentist in a while, you should schedule a dental appointment with your dentist. Seeking professional dental care is best to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. We can reverse gingivitis and prevent the progression of periodontitis.
Keeping your gums healthy requires a consistent and proper oral hygiene routine. You must maintain your oral health to improve your gum health. Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and rinse with mouthwash to reduce their risk of plaque build-up. In addition, it is important for patients to visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine dental exams and professional dental cleanings. Also, eating a balanced diet and avoiding excessive sugar and starchy foods can help reduce the formation of plaque.
During your visit, our team will assess your teeth and gums and check for signs of gums disease. Depending on the health of your teeth and gums, we may build a comprehensive treatment plan that is designed to remove disease gum tissue and restore health to your teeth and gums. Also, we will teach you how to improve your gum health and get your oral health back on track.
Bleeding Gums FAQs
Please read through our frequently asked questions and answers about bleeding gums. If you still have additional questions or concerns, contact our dental office during regular business hours.
How do I get my gums to stop bleeding?
Patients’ gums may bleed for a variety of reasons, some preventable and others not. If your gums are constantly bleeding one way to make them stop is to be more intentional and consistent with your oral hygiene. Bleeding gums are a sign of poor oral hygiene, so working to brush your teeth well twice a day and floss at least once may stop your gums from bleeding.
Also, reducing your tobacco and carbohydrate intake can stop bleeding gums. Rinsing with saltwater when your gums are bleeding is a good way to soothe the irritated tissue.
Can bleeding gums mean you are ill?
In some cases, bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease can increase patients’ other serious health issues. These include heart disease and diabetes. If you are constantly suffering from bleeding gums, and cannot make it stop it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with the dentist to check and see if everything is healthy.
Can a saltwater rinse heal bleeding gums?
One of the best ways to heal bleeding gums is to rinse them with salt water. The best ratio for this is to dissolve and stir one teaspoon of salt into a large glass of warm water. The combination of salt and warmth soothes gums and can also help remove the infection.
Are bleeding gums during pregnancy normal?
It is normal for some pregnant women to experience gingivitis or bleeding gums during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy will make the gums more susceptible to irritation. It is very important to maintain your regular dental check-ups and maintain good oral hygiene during pregnancy.
When should I see a dentist for bleeding gums?
This is a tough question. In most cases, you should see a dentist if you experience bleeding gums. However, you may be able to easily explain why your gums are bleeding. However, if you experience persistent or frequent bleeding of the gums, it’s essential to schedule a dental appointment. Your dentist can assess the health of your gums, determine the cause of the bleeding, and then suggest the best treatment or preventive measures.
Schedule A Screening For Bleeding Gums in Sterling, VA
If you notice any changes in your dental health, visit our Sterling dental practice for a consultation with our team. Bleeding gums, halitosis, and swollen gums may be an indication of gum disease, and it’s important to find a dentist near you. Dr. Kavianpour can perform a gum disease screening and recommend the appropriate treatment for your smile. To schedule an appointment, call 703.444.3412 or request an appointment online.