If your gums bleed whenever you bite into a firm fruit, such as an apple or a pear, you may wonder if you have gum disease. Your bleeding gums could be a sign of gingivitis, or gum inflammation. Gingivitis is the least dangerous type of gum disease to affect adults, teens, and children. If you don't take steps to treat your bleeding gums, it could potentially lead to advanced gum disease in the future. Here are facts about gingivitis and how you can treat it.
Why Do Your Gums Bleed?
Your gums can bleed due to many things, including cuts and abrasions. Sometimes abrasions occur when you brush your teeth too hard or when you insert a thread of floss too far above the gumline. The bleeding usually goes away after your injured gums heal. But if your gums bleed every time you bite into something hard or firm, it could be a sign of gingivitis.
Gingivitis describes an inflammation of the gums. The inflammation develops when plaque builds up around your gumline. The buildup irritates the soft tissue (gums) surrounding your teeth, causing them to swell. As the inflammation progresses, it attracts bacteria. The bacteria use the carbohydrates and sugars found in plaque as an energy source to thrive.
Your swollen and irritated gums can bleed when you brush your teeth. You might notice blood in your saliva when you rinse your mouth or spit. Your gums can also bleed when you bite or chew food. However, you usually only notice the bleeding when you bite into something like an apple. In this case, you'll see spots of blood on the fruit's flesh.
If you allow gingivitis to go untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. Advanced gum disease can make your breath smell foul or your mouth taste metallic. Your gums may also loosen up around the gumline, which allows food and other debris to hide or build up. Your gumline can also recede enough to expose the roots of your teeth. Both of these problems create "pockets" along your gumline.
To avoid these situations, you must treat your bleeding gums now.
How Do You Keep Your Gums From Bleeding?
Along with a general dentist's help, you can treat and reverse mild gum disease successfully. But you must treat your condition before it affects the teeth ligaments and bone tissue beneath your gums. Once the inflammation and infection spreads to your teeth ligaments and jawbones, you can't reverse it.
A general dentist will generally perform a detailed assessment of your gums. The assessment may include taking digital pictures (X-rays) of your teeth and gums, as well as measuring the pockets around your teeth. Deep pockets may indicate that the inflammation has progressed to periodontitis.
A dentist will also examine the color and texture of your gums. Your gums can appear slightly red and swollen if you have gingivitis. However, advanced gum disease can make your gums appear bright red or purplish. Your gums may also feel soft instead of firm and resilient.
Treatment for gum disease can vary, depending on the stage of your condition. If you have gingivitis, a dentist will remove the debris with a gum cleaning. After you leave the office, you can keep your gums healthy by using floss every time you perform oral care.
If you have advanced gum disease, a dental provider may suggest that you undergo gum flap surgery to treat it. The surgery allows a dentist to clean your teeth roots and the bone tissue supporting them. If your gums are severely damaged or receded, a dentist can reconstruct them.
You can prevent your gingivitis from becoming worse by contacting a general dentistry office like Hot Smile Dental today.