No matter how impeccable your oral care is, the chance is you will experience your gums bleeding at some point. When you spot pink in the sink, it’s often a sign of gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that can cause a myriad of problems for your mouth. It can destroy your gums, wear away at your jaw and lead to tooth loss. Additionally, your body responds to this infection with an inflammation, and when you have increased inflammation throughout the body, you are more at risk for a host of diseases. There are three stages of gum disease that you should be aware of.
How Do I Stop the Bleeding?
There are a number of reasons you could have gum disease and many things you can do to improve the condition. Here are a few:
- Improve your oral hygiene – You need to brush two to three times a day and floss daily for the healthiest mouth. Check out our tips for brushing and flossing here on the blog.
- Spruce up your diet – Yes, your mouth benefits from five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, too! Eating well and taking a multivitamin boost the immune system and help the gums heal.
- Stop smoking – Smokers are at a much higher risk for gum disease than nonsmokers due to the high level of toxins and chemicals inhaled through cigarettes. Smoking also leads to enlarged gums that more easily absorb the bacteria that live near the gum line.
- Reduce stress – Living with high-stress levels impedes the immune system and its ability to ward off infections like gum disease.
- Check your medications – Many medications can cause dry mouth, resulting in less saliva, the mouth’s number one defense against harmful bacteria. Others cause enlargement or thickening of the gums which can cause advanced progression of the disease.
Other causes of periodontal disease are from kissing and sharing, as well as pregnancy. Gum disease can be passed from one person to another through the sharing of cups and utensils, as well. We hope this goes without saying, but NEVER share a toothbrush! And when you are expecting, your gums bleed more easily due to hormonal fluctuations, which leave you at a higher risk of contracting gum disease.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of gum disease should see their dentist. Regular cleanings and checkups are part of your best defense against gum disease and its detrimental effects. If you’re experiencing bleeding gums or are simply overdue for a cleaning, give us a call! We’ll take a close look and make recommendations for keeping your mouth healthy.