A number of issues can cause bleeding after brushing, but one of the primary areas of concern is the threat of periodontal disease. Gum disease affects nearly half of adults over age 30 in the U.S. With more than 64 million adults suffering from gum disease, it’s easily one of the top reasons to visit your Bridgeport / Trumbull Line dentist.
Types of Gum Disease
There are two types, or severities, of gum disease. Gingivitis is the beginning phase of gum disease and is often recognized by inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis can cause your gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. This milder form of gum disease can typically be reversed with strong oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing and routine dental cleanings and exams can greatly reduce your risk for gingivitis or stop its progression.
Periodontal disease forms when gingivitis is not treated properly. This more severe form of gum disease causes your gum pockets to deepen, which makes them highly susceptible to infection. While your body will attempt to fight the growth of bacteria and infection below the gum line, the bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place begin to break down. If you do not seek gum disease treatment right away, the gums, bone, and teeth can be destroyed.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Despite periodontal disease being so prevalent in adults, in addition to being a major cause of tooth loss, many people don’t know they have it. Gum disease is often painless, so being aware of the warning signs will help you keep healthy teeth and gums:
- Bleeding after or while brushing
- Change in dental bite
- Change in fit of partial dentures
- Ongoing bad breath
- Permanent teeth become loose
- Tender, swollen gums
The longer tartar and plaque are left on the teeth, the more likely you are to develop periodontal disease. Daily dental care is pertinent to avoiding gum disease.
Why Do I Experience Bleeding After Brushing?
Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gum disease. When you brush and floss daily, you shouldn’t experience bleeding after brushing. Brushing alone isn’t enough. If you don’t regularly floss, bacteria will buildup along your gums, causing bleeding when you brush.
If you don’t floss, the plaque that builds up along the gums will cause your gum tissue to create periodontal pockets. The plaque is full of harmful bacteria that cause inflammation in the gums. The bleeding that subsequently occurs isn’t the major concern. The problems you can’t see are what cause severe damage.
The bacteria in your bloodstream can cause blood clots, creating a strong correlation between gum disease and a heart attack or stroke. If you experience bleeding after brushing, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your Shelton dentist.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Poor oral hygiene accounts for a large percentage of gum disease cases, but other health and lifestyle choices can also contribute to the development of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Smoking or chewing tobacco, crooked or overlapping teeth that are hard to clean, pregnancy, genetics, and diabetes can put you at a higher risk for gum disease. In addition, some medications, like steroids, cancer therapy drugs, oral contraceptives, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, and some calcium channel blockers can contribute to gum disease.
Effects of Periodontal Disease
In addition to bleeding after brushing, periodontal disease can have other effects on your oral and overall health. When left untreated, gum disease can create these ongoing health issues:
Tooth Sensitivity: As the gums pull away from your teeth, pocketing can cause tooth sensitivity. When gum tissue is constantly inflamed, the root surface of the tooth is exposed. Teeth become more susceptible to decay, increasing tooth sensitivity and potential tooth loss. If your sensitivity to hot or cold beverages and foods increases, schedule an appointment with your Shelton dentist.
High Blood Sugar: There is a two-directional link between gum disease and type 2 diabetes. Those with type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to rapidly progressing gum disease as diabetes affects the body’s ability to fight off bacteria growth. Likewise, gum disease can affect the body’s blood sugar control, increasing the risk for those already susceptible to type 2 diabetes. If you battle high blood sugar and you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, follow up with your primary physician to keep your blood sugar regulated.
Bridgeport / Trumbull Line Dentist for Bleeding Gums
When you visit your dentist office in Bridgeport / Trumbull Line after noticing bleeding gums, your dentist will perform different exams to help determine the severity of damage. When you speak with your dentist, be sure to mention:
- Frequency of bleeding after brushing. Does it happen once in a while or every day? Explain if you notice the bleeding only when flossing or after brushing as well.
- Bleeding beyond brushing. If your gums are bleeding when you eat, or without any other stimulus, tell your dentist.
- Gums change colors. If your gums progress from light pink to dark red after brushing or eating, bacteria growth could be on the rise. Mention any change in gum color to your dentist.
Paired with dental exams, this information will allow your dentist to best determine if gum disease is present and the severity of the disease.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Routine dental visits are a good way to establish strong oral care, but the larger part of preventing gum disease happens at home. Brush at least twice a day for two to three minutes each time. Brush along the gumline and floss daily to remove plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Using a mouth rinse can help reduce plaque by nearly 20 percent, but it should not be used in place of dental floss.
Your diet can also play a role in preventing gum disease. Include healthy food choices loaded with Vitamins A and C (rainbow of fruits and vegetables). Skip foods high in starch and sugar, as they are the leading cause of tartar buildup along the gums.
The DeJesus Dental Group is the leading family dentist office in Bridgeport / Trumbull Line and Shelton. If you experience bleeding after brushing, gum pain, or notice gum recession, schedule your appointment to treat or prevent periodontal disease.