Have you ever noticed bleeding when brushing or cleaning between your teeth? Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs that your gums are inflamed and presence of infection. If you wash your hands and notice bleeding, you would probably be concerned. So, what’s the difference? Well, there is no difference, because periodontal disease is having a big wound in your mouth. The good news is—periodontal disease is preventable!
How does the disease start?
A sticky film called dental plaque constantly forms on your teeth. Plaque is especially prevalent between the teeth and along the gumline. Healthy gums are pink in color and firm in consistency, whereas diseased gums are red and swollen. When plaque is not removed, your inflammatory response is triggered. The first stage of gum inflammation is called gingivitis, involving only the gum tissue and is reversible to a healthy condition. The second stage is called periodontitis, is no longer reversible and now involves the bone and ligament surrounding the tooth.
- Poor oral hygiene
- Misaligned or crowded teeth
- Difficult areas to clean in the mouth. For example, bridges, orthodontic braces, or implants.
- Fluctuating hormones
- Medications causing gum growth or dry mouth
- Poor nutrition
Periodontal disease is preventable. Having a good daily oral care routine will help ensure effective plaque removal. If you see bleeding when caring for your mouth, don’t ignore it. Instead, investigate further! Be gentle but thorough with your cleaning routine, brushing twice a day and cleaning between your teeth daily. You may need to incorporate an additional tool to effectively clean the areas you see are bleeding. Be sure to see your dental professional and let them know when and where you see signs of inflammation.