Why do my gums always bleed when I brush or floss my teeth?
The answer to this frequently asked question is almost always gum disease. Gum disease is a growing oral health epidemic that not only affects the function and health of the teeth and gums but increases the risk of a multitude of systemic health conditions.
What Is Gum Disease
Gum disease is a bacterial oral infection. Bacteria multiply and spread forming deep pockets in the gums. Gums become inflamed and tender and pull away from the surface of the teeth. As gum disease advances, teeth are susceptible to becoming loose, shifting, or even falling out. Patients with gum disease may lose bone retention and experience sagging of the facial structure. Long-term, disease-causing bacteria can spread to the bloodstream causing body-wide inflammation.
Patients with advanced gum disease are at a higher risk of developing:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attacks
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a progressive disease. Left untreated, gum disease worsens and can cause damage to the function and appearance of the smile. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease that is typically conservatively treated with a thorough dental cleaning and improved oral hygiene. Periodontitis is the most advanced stage of gum disease. By this phase, patients may have secondary oral health complications such as missing teeth, gum recession, or bone loss.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease usually develops due to a lack of oral hygiene and preventive dental care. Brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings can help prevent the progression of gum disease.
Dr. Sareen can make personalized recommendations for improving oral hygiene to help manage oral bacteria. For patients with advanced gum disease, Dr. Sareen provides a range of periodontal therapies that can be personalized to address your specific oral health needs.