Bleeding Gum Treatment in Long Island
Spitting blood when you brush your teeth is not a normal thing. Unless you change up your dental routine or push a little too hard while flossing bleeding gums can be a sign of a bigger problem. In fact, it could be an early sign of gum disease and a warning that your gums need treatment. Whether you see blood in the sink when you brush occasionally or every day, you should never ignore bleeding gums!
Common Causes and Symptoms
You may have bleeding gums if you:
- Brushing Too Hard or Your Toothbrush Isn’t Soft Enough- If you brush too hard you can be causing damage to your gums. There is no real need to brush your teeth in a hard manner. If you find that the bristles of your toothbrush are harder than you thought you may want to switch to a softer brush for a little while.
- Just Began A Flossing Routine- We should be flossing every day however this can be a hard habit to start. A new flossing routine could cause your gums to bleed. If it continues after a few days, try not to push so hard on your gums. The bleeding should go away.
- Take Certain Medications, Like Blood Thinners- Medications have a big impact on our health. While they are important to take consistently when recommended by a doctor if you experience bleeding gums check with your health care provider to see if bleeding gums could be a possible symptom.
- Have Inflamed Gums Because You’re Pregnant (Pregnancy Gingivitis)- About half of pregnant women have swollen, red, tender gums that bleed when flossed or brushed. This is called pregnancy gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. This is partly caused by hormonal changes that make your gums more sensitive to the bacteria in plaque.
- Have Dentures That Don’t Fit Well- Do not put off coming to see us if your dentures become loose and rub against your gums. This not only causes discomfort, but can make your gums bleed and leave them open to infection and gum and mouth irritation.
- Inadequate Plaque Removal- Bleeding gums can be caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly builds up around, on, and between your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can irritate the gums, leading to redness, bleeding, and inflammation.
What Bleeding Gums Mean
When bleeding gums are caused by inadequate plaque removal then it is time to address the issue. Plaque contains germs which attack the healthy tissue around the teeth. This will cause the gums to become inflamed and irritated, which may cause them to bleed when brushing and flossing. This is called Gingivitis and is the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is usually a painless condition and bleeding gums may be the only symptom. Some other signs may include: swollen, red or tender gums; persistent bad breath or taste; teeth that are loose; and a change in the way your teeth fit when you bite. At this stage the disease can be treated and completely reversed. Again Dr. Scharf wishes to emphasize that it is important not to ignore your bleeding gums!
Dr. Scharf can diagnose your bleeding gums and advise you on the best treatment for a healthy smile.Request An Appointment Today!
Other Risk Factors
There are certain risk factors that may make it more likely that bleeding gums will occur. Those can include:
- Age: The incidence of gum disease increases with age. 50% of adults 30 years or older and 70% of those over 65 have gum disease.
- Stress: Stress is linked to many serious conditions, including periodontal disease. Research shows that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases.
- Medications: As stated above some prescriptions can increase your risk of bleeding gums. Some anti-depressants, certain heart medications and oral contraceptives are included in these possible medications. Check with your doctor to see if this is possible.
- Genetics: Some of us are just predisposed to get gum disease. If you think this applies to you, we can perform a simple genetic test to determine your risk.
- Poor Nutrition: Tooth decay happens when plaque comes into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This may contribute to gum disease.
- Clenching or Grinding Teeth: The damage caused by bruxism doesn’t stop with the teeth. Teeth grinding can also cause severe gum recession because of the pressure put on the gums by the motion. Tooth grinding can also make the teeth loose in their sockets, creating deep pockets where bacteria can collect.
- Tobacco Use: Smoking weakens your body’s immune system. This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal.
It Affects Your Overall Health
Gum disease has been linked to more serious conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Even men’s sexual health can be affected by gum disease. Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the associated between gum disease and these other conditions. Even more reasons not to ignore your bleeding gums.
If Dr. Scharf determines that you have gum disease, the treatment plan will depend upon the severity. For example, if your gum disease is still in the early stages, simply implementing a more rigorous at home dental care regimen will solve it. If your gum disease has advanced, more involved periodontal therapy may be required. This involves ridding the mouth of the bacteria and plaque that caused the infection in the first place.
Taking a trip to the periodontist doesn’t mean only surgery anymore. Many procedures involve a laser now and can be very non invasive. He was the first periodontist on Long Island to use the Periolase Laser to replace “cut and stitch” gum surgery.
Being treated non surgically depends upon the type of disease the patient has and how far along the condition has spread. A deep cleaning is usually the first step which sometimes includes scaling to remove plaque and tartar build up beneath the gum line. The tooth roots may also need to be planed to smooth the root surface. This allows the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In some cases, the bite of the patient may require adjustment.
Contact Us Today
Regardless of what you think might be the cause of your bleeding gums, the best thing to do is contact Dr. Scharf as soon as possible. He can diagnose your symptoms and advise you on the best bleeding gum treatment. Dr. Scharf and his staff understand the value of preventing bleeding gums in the first place. We also understand the value of a healthy and confident smile. If you, like 80% of Americans, are experiencing some form of gum disease, we are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a dental exam with Long Island’s dedicated periodontist, Dr. David R. Scharf.