My Gums Bleed When I Brush: Should I Be Concerned?
Patients may ignore bleeding gums and credit the symptom to overzealous brushing, but this issue does warrant attention from a dentist, even if it only crops up during your oral hygiene routine. Bleeding gums typically indicate some form of gum disease that needs treatment.
Gum disease is a progressive condition, and bleeding gums, along with milder symptoms like redness or swelling of the gum tissue, usually are signs of gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease. Because gingivitis is a less severe form of gum disease, it can usually be addressed with a non-invasive treatment, like a thorough professional cleaning from dentist or hygienist.
However, if you ignore your bleeding gums, they are likely to deteriorate as the gum disease advances to periodontitis. In this stage, symptoms include pockets between the gums and teeth or receding gum tissue. The treatments needed to eliminate the periodontitis become more involved as well. A root planing and scaling or gum graft may become necessary. In the later stages of periodontitis, patients may lose teeth and bone material, requiring surgical treatments.
Not only are the treatments for advanced gum disease more complex, they’re more expensive as well. Later stage gum disease often is treated by a specialist known as a periodontist, who completes additional training beyond dental school, and this extra expertise comes at a price.
After you’ve been treated for an initial episode of gum disease, you must be diligent about your home oral hygiene routine and getting adequate care from a dentist and other professionals. Gum disease is caused by oral bacteria, and your best tools for keeping these bacteria in check are daily brushing and flossing as recommended, along with routine checkups and cleanings at least every six months.
Bleeding gums are indeed cause for concern, and you should be evaluated as soon as possible if you experience this symptom. Don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule an appointment and learn about the recommended treatments for gum disease. Contact our office today to discuss treatment options!