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Causes of Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease

If you occasionally notice minor bleeding during or after brushing and flossing but think little or nothing of it, you might be in the first stage of gum disease. This means that you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to ensure that your gingivitis is stopped before it progresses to periodontal disease. At this point, any damage that gingivitis has caused can be reversed. If you wait until it develops into periodontal disease, you’ll have sustained irreversible damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Please continue reading to learn more about gum disease, how to recognize it, how to stop it, and how to prevent it.

What Does the Term Gum Disease Mean?

Gum disease is characterized by infection and inflammation of the gums, and it’s caused by bacteria. After you eat or drink, a thin film called plaque begins to form on your teeth. Plaque is rife with bacteria, and if not removed through brushing and flossing, it will start to erode the enamel on your teeth and cause decay in your teeth and gums. Eventually, the plaque will settle in the crevices between your teeth and gums, and it will become tartar, which is a very hard substance that only a dentist can remove.

In its initial stage of gingivitis, gum disease can be stopped, and any damage it has done can be reversed. If not treated at the gingivitis stage, however, it will develop into periodontal disease and cause irreversible damage. If not treated when it’s periodontal disease, it will develop into periodontitis and then advanced periodontitis. At this point, it will have destroyed the ligaments that secure your teeth, your gums, your jawbone, and your facial structure. Your only option at this time will be reconstructive dental work, which is painful to your mouth and your wallet.

More than 75 million American adults have gum disease, but only about 15 percent of them are aware of it. More than 60 percent of teens older than 15 years have some form of gum disease. About one-third of those who have gum disease have a genetic predisposition to it, so they’ll need to be assiduously attentive to their oral health to prevent the onset of periodontal disease. Only when you know the signs and symptoms of gum disease can you take the necessary steps to prevent it and maintain a healthy mouth.

How Does Gum Disease Cause Health Problems?

Research has indicated a correlation between those with a history of gum disease and those who develop severe health issues. It’s important to be able to recognize a problem in order to fix it. If you want to avoid further complications, it’s important to keep a close eye on your dental health.

What Habits Will Cause Gum Disease?

Although the primary habit that causes gum disease is poor oral hygiene, there are other factors that can contribute to its onset, such as:

A diet that’s high in refined and processed sugars and carbohydrates. If your diet is primarily comprised of carbohydrates and sugars, then the build-up of bacteria combines with the carbohydrate-and-sugar environment, and they breed more bacteria.

Dry mouth from prescription medications. If you have a dry mouth, whether from medications or lack of hydration, then your body can’t remove the bacteria, and it remains on your teeth and gums.

Hormonal fluctuations that increase gum sensitivity. These fluctuations can happen during pregnancy, puberty, menopause and menstruation. The gums becoming more sensitive leaves them open to disease, but may also mean that a person is less likely to complete a full, quality oral health routine because it’s more painful.

Severe diseases or auto-immune disorders such as cancer, diabetes, or HIV because they lower the immune response. If you already have a compromised immune system, then you’re considerably more likely to develop gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Tobacco use in any form. All types of tobacco deposit toxins in the mouth and they lower the immune response, so your body isn’t able to remove the toxins.

What Symptoms Should You Be Looking For?

Often, gum disease may present asymptomatically, but there are usually indications that you may need to schedule an appointment with your Hudson Valley dentist, such as:

  • A chronic bad taste in your mouth regardless of hygiene
  • Changes to your bite or the fit of your dentures
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose or loosening teeth
  • Minor bleeding during or after brushing or flossing
  • Pain
  • Pockets between the gums and teeth
  • Pus between your teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Swollen and inflamed gums

Any or all of these signs can indicate that you’re developing gum disease. The sooner you seek treatment from your dentist, the better the likelihood of reversing any damage that’s been done.

Are There Facts I Should Know About Periodontal Disease?

There are three main types of periodontal disease, and it makes sense to have an understanding of them so you know how to avoid them! A dentist’s goal is to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but to do that, they need your help. If you think you have any of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, please seek help before the disease progresses. We’ve mentioned it alot, but it really is important to quickly treat this fast-progressing disease.

The type of periodontal disease should only be diagnosed by a dentist. They are:

  • Aggressive periodontitis: This type usually occurs in otherwise healthy people. It rapidly destroys the jawbone, gums, and ligaments.
  • Chronic periodontitis: This is the type most commonly seen, and it progresses more slowly.
  • Necrotizing periodontitis: This type usually occurs in those with compromised immune systems. It’s characterized by the death of the gum tissues, the ligaments that secure the teeth, and the jawbone.

If you think you’re developing gum disease, then be sure to see your dentist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Is Gum Disease Preventable?

It’s unfortunate that a disease that can cause so much damage is so easily preventable, but that is the fact. Establishing a regimen of good oral hygiene and maintaining it throughout your lifetime is the best prevention for gum disease and the best way to ensure a lifetime of a beautiful smile.

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