Thursday, January 16, 2014
My Gums Are Bleeding!
“Almost on a daily basis we are asked about bleeding gums,” says Dr. Judith Ko from her Hemet Valley Cosmetic and General Dental Practice.
Bleeding of the gum tissue, and the swelling that is sometimes associated, is the first sign of periodontal disease. While not all bleeding is caused by disease, you should see a dental professional immediately when you notice signs of bleeding when brushing or flossing.
Bleeding and swelling can indicate infection and this is not normal. If caught early on, the prognosis can be great, but even allowing a little time to pass can mean that bone loss will occur. “When bone is lost, it makes it that much harder to not only keep the teeth, but to also get a good result long-term from the disease,” adds Dr. Ko.
More than 75% of adult Americans over 35 have some signs of periodontal disease. This can range from gingivitis to the more severe periodontitis. And periodontal disease has been linked to other systemic health conditions.
So what can be done?
At the first signs of bleeding, call your dentist. Getting in and being evaluated is the first step.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a circular motion and a soft bristled brush.
Floss daily using whatever floss is most comfortable to you.
Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
Reduce your stress. Increased amounts of the hormone cortisol, raises the risk of inflammation.
Avoid tobacco products.