Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
If you begin bleeding from anywhere on your body, this usually signifies a problem with your health. And yet, millions of people experience bleeding gums when they brush their teeth and don’t think anything of it. The reality is that bleeding gums can be a sign of a severe oral health issue. Your Greeneville family dentists Dr. Craig Shepherd and Dr. Nathaniel Renner, explore this issue and the potential consequences of “pink in the sink” when you brush your teeth.
Potential Reasons for Bleeding Gums
It’s never normal for your gums to bleed. Here are some possible causes:
Switching to a new toothbrush could make your gums bleed, especially if it is a hard-bristled brush. Instead, make sure you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush, as recommended by the American Dental Association.
Overbrushing could be the culprit. This means you’re brushing too hard or with too much force. If you’re not sure if you’re overbrushing, just look at your toothbrush. Are the bristles splayed, coming loose, or fanned out? Brushing too hard can do more harm to your teeth. Use gentle pressure and a circular motion instead.
Flossing once per day cleans between your teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach and removes food particles and bacteria. However, if you occasionally floss, you may experience bleeding from your gums each time you do.
The Dangers of Gum Disease
Bleeding from the gums is one of the symptoms of gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease. This is a bacterial infection in your gums, usually stemming from a build-up of plaque and tartar in your mouth. Gum disease affects approximately half of the population of the U.S., over the age of 30. Other symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are red, puffy, and sore. If you can treat your gum disease while still in this stage, you avoid any permanent damage to your oral health. Left untreated, however, gum disease reaches its advanced stage known as periodontitis, by which time irreparable damage has been done. Continuing to ignore gum disease leaves you at risk for tooth loss, jawbone deterioration, and an increased risk of developing several serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
Helping Prevent Bleeding Gums in Greeneville
Like nearly every health condition, when it comes to bleeding gums, prevention is vital. You can prevent gum disease by brushing twice a day using the correct technique and a soft-bristled brush. Make sure to floss each day. See your experienced dentist in Greeneville once every six months for a check-up. Avoid a diet high in sugars, carbohydrates, and highly acidic foods and drinks. Lastly, if you use tobacco in any form, please consider stopping.
If your bleeding gums are due to gum disease, Tusculum Dental Care can help. We have a comprehensive periodontal treatment program that includes repetitive therapy as well as laser therapy. For questions about how we treat gum disease or our other services, call (423) 639-7575 or schedule a consultation online.
Tusculum Dental Care proudly serves our patients in the areas of Greeneville, Erwin, and Jonesborough in Tennessee.