The 101 on Bleeding Gums: Cause for Concern or Normal Side Effect of Brushing?

Have you noticed blood on your toothbrush? Or perhaps your gums bleed when you floss. If you notice blood during your oral hygiene routine, it is normally an indicator that you are brushing too hard, flossing incorrectly, or have irritated/inflamed gums. If you notice bleeding gums, we recommend that you schedule a checkup with our dentist so that we can determine if you are practicing correct oral hygiene or have signs of gum disease. Following is some important information about gum health and how gum disease affects patients.

The Role the Gums Play in Oral Health

People often overlook gum tissue as an important part of the oral health system. The jawbones anchor the roots of teeth and gum tissue covers the jaw as a soft tissue support system for teeth. Gum tissue serves as a support structure to teeth while also protecting the roots from exposure to debris and bacteria. Since gums support teeth, when they become diseased, they can affect the stability of a tooth. This is why advanced gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.

How Gums Become Infected and Inflamed

Gums become inflamed and infected when we practice improper and inadequate oral hygiene. Some medications and health conditions that affect blood flow can lead to inflammation as well. The most common cause of gum disease is tartar accumulation. Tartar is plaque that is hardened by calculus. Flossing and brushing cannot remove tartar. It must be removed with dental instruments.

As tartar builds up along the gums, the gums will pull away as a response. Since tartar is a hard substance and full of bacteria, it does infect gingival tissue. Tartar buildup leads to the deepening of periodontal pockets, which ultimately breaks down the gum’s ability to support teeth. Without professional intervention from a dentist, infected gums can lead to advanced periodontal disease. 

Call one of our convenient office locations for questions about gum health or to reserve a checkup with our dentists!

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