Bleeding gums is often the first sign of gum disease and should not be ignored. Gum disease is a very common condition with up to 9 in 10 people having some form of it even in the smallest amounts.
Gingivitis is the first stage, this is inflammation of your gums (see picture 2). This is caused by build-up of bacteria on the teeth and gums from the food we consume, called plaque. If this is not removed regularly by a good oral hygiene routine it can start to cause gum inflammation (bleeding). This stage is completely reversible and the gums can regain health with intervention of a dental hygienist and correct oral hygiene routine being implemented of brushing and cleaning in-between our teeth regularly.
However if gingivitis is left untreated over many years it can progress in some individuals to periodontitis. This is were the bone surrounding and supporting the tooth can start to be lost. The gums at this stage may start to pull away from the tooth creating a pocket (see picture 3) which will allow more plaque to trap and stagnate which you may not be able to remove with a toothbrush. Overtime this plaque can harden to become tartar (calculus) which is necessary to be removed by a dental hygienist as a toothbrush alone will not be able to. At this stage discomfort in the gums may be noticeable.
If this stage is left untreated, periodontitis will become more advanced (see picture 4) as more plaque and calculus will accumulate under the gum level due to deeper pockets forming from long term inflammation and gradual further bone loss. You may also start to notice increased sensitivity as gums will also be receding as the bone is being lost exposing the root surface. The end result of all this can be tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss.
Fortunately, gum disease is a dental disease which is completely preventable. This is achieved by keeping up a good oral hygiene regime and visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups alongside cleans and oral hygiene education being provided by the dental hygienist.
Our job as dental professionals is to help support and guide you to enable you to perform a good oral hygiene regime that is sustainable and can be managed on a daily basis by yourselves at home to keep a nice healthy mouth (see picture 1). This will help prevent any gum disease from occurring for individuals who currently do not have any signs, while also halting the gum disease progression for anyone that currently has it to regain dental health.
You would not ignore a bleeding eye so do not ignore bleeding gums.
Emily is our hygienist at Chancery dental. She would be very happy to help you improve your gum health.
Contact us at Chancery dental on 01832 733093, we are always happy to help.