If your gums bleed when you brush, you should bring this to the attention of our dentist. Bleeding gums is one of the first symptoms of developing gum disease. Often it is related to gingivitis, which is easily treated. The sooner you treat your gum problems, the easier the treatment will be.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
It’s important to know the symptoms of gum disease so you can let our dentist know about any problems that might be developing. Gums that bleed when you brush with a normal, fairly soft toothbrush is a very common indication that your gums are inflamed. In addition, you should watch out for:
- A red or purple color to your gums
- Shininess of the gum tissue
- Extreme sensitivity
- Gums withdrawing from the bases of the teeth
Our dentist will also check the pockets between your gums and your teeth. Infection tends to settle in these pockets where food particles and sugars can collect if you don’t clean thoroughly. Minor pockets are more easily treated. However, if the pockets have become deep—four or five millimeters—this indicates more advanced gum disease and will probably require more complex and invasive treatment, up to and including gum surgery.
Preventing Gum Disease
Family dentistry emphasizes techniques that help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. This includes brushing and flossing regularly. Brushing removes food and beverage residue from your teeth, taking away the substances on which bacteria feed. Without these sugars, bacteria cannot reproduce enough to cause inflammation, tooth decay, and infection. Brushing also helps massage the gums, increasing healthy blood flow to these vital tissues.
Flossing removes food particles from between the teeth in areas where your regular toothbrush can’t reach. It also helps massage the gums, again addressing areas your toothbrush can’t stimulate effectively. It’s important to use a brush that isn’t too soft in order for the best results. However, it’s also important not to use an overly stiff brush, as stiff bristles can wear away your tooth enamel and irritate your gums. With diligent, proper care and regular family dentistry visits, you can insure your mouth remains free of gum disease.
If you’re due for a cleaning, call us today at Hulen Crossing Family Dental to see our specialist!