Bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease, a very common oral health condition caused by bacteria irritating and infecting the gums. Bleeding when brushing is one of the first visible signs of gum disease, which is also known as gingivitis.
Bleeding gums is usually symptomatic of gum disease, but it can also be caused by flossing, especially if you are not used to using dental floss, and catching the gums on sharp pieces of food, such as crisps or crusty bread.
If you suffer from bleeding gums, it is always a good idea to see your dentist, as gum disease should be treated as early as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse. Advanced gum disease, known as periodontal disease, is the leading cause of premature tooth loss in the UK and it causes permanent damage to the mouth.
In addition to bleeding gums, other symptoms of gum disease to look out for include swollen and sore gums, tenderness around the gums, an unpleasant taste in the mouth and eventually, the teeth starting to feel loose.
The mild form of gum disease, gingivitis, can be treated very easily with good oral hygiene. The aim is to remove the bacteria and plaque causing the gums to become irritated and swollen.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it becomes more advanced and may turn into periodontal disease, which is difficult to treat and causes irreversible damage in the mouth. Advanced gum disease is treated using intensive cleaningtreatments, such as scale and polish and root planing and usually, several treatment sessions with a dental hygienist are required.
The best way to prevent bleeding gums is to stick to a good daily oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist for regular routine check-ups.
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