bleeding gums (2)

Many people underestimate the importance of treating gum disease promptly. Ignoring swollen and bleeding gums can lead to tooth loss and serious health problems. The good news is that gum disease can be effectively managed if caught early. Here are eleven reasons why you should address bleeding and inflamed gums without delay.

1. Prevent tooth loss

One of the main consequences of untreated gum disease is tooth loss, which can significantly affect your bite, bone health, and self-confidence. Early treatment of gum disease can help prevent tooth loss and maintain the integrity and appearance of your smile.

2. Stop gum recession

Gum disease can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets that harbor harmful bacteria. Treating gum disease early helps prevent gum recession and keeps your gum line healthy and intact.

3. Reduce hospital visits

Advanced gum disease can be extremely painful and may lead to frequent emergency room visits. Studies show that managing gum disease effectively can reduce the need for emergency medical care and lower overall medical expenses.

4. Lower risk of heart problems

Gum disease has been linked to various serious health issues, including diabetes and certain cancers. It is also strongly associated with heart disease. Untreated gum disease can increase your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. Taking care of your gums is a step toward protecting your heart.

5. Improve your breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common symptom of gum disease. The buildup of bacteria in your mouth can cause a persistent bad odor. Treating gum disease not only helps improve your oral health but also eliminates bad breath, making you feel more confident in social interactions.

6. Prevent jawbone deterioration

Severe gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which in turn can cause your jawbone to deteriorate. When teeth are missing, the bone that supports them starts to weaken. This can affect the overall structure of your jaw, leading to further dental issues.

7. Avoid bite problems

Losing teeth due to gum disease can alter your bite. This may make it difficult to chew food properly and can lead to your teeth not fitting together correctly. An unstable bite can also cause headaches, migraines, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

8. Maintain strong gums

Your gums play a crucial role in supporting your teeth. Healthy gums ensure that your teeth are well-anchored and stable. Gums that are not bleeding, receding, or painful are essential for a beautiful and functional smile.

9. Protect your overall health

Gum disease is essentially an infection that can have widespread effects on your body. Bacteria and tooth plaque from gum disease can enter your bloodstream, potentially affecting other parts of your body. Treating gum disease helps eliminate this infection, contributing to better overall health.

10. Secure loose teeth

Before a tooth falls out due to gum disease, it often becomes loose. Unlike baby teeth, adult teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Treating gum disease strengthens your gums and the connections between your teeth and gums, helping to keep your teeth secure.

11. Alleviate pain and discomfort

Swollen, bleeding gums are often painful, which can make daily activities like eating and brushing your teeth uncomfortable. Severe symptoms might even lead you to avoid certain foods or neglect oral hygiene. Treating gum disease can significantly reduce pain and restore comfort to your gums.

The Bottom Line

Healthy gums should not bleed or swell. If you experience these symptoms, seeking help from a dental professional is crucial. Early treatment of gum disease can prevent many severe and irreversible health issues. Taking care of your gums is not just about maintaining a beautiful smile; it's also about protecting your overall health. Don't ignore the signs—address gum disease promptly to ensure long-term oral and systemic health.

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The presence of blood in your sink or on your toothbrush after you’ve just brushed your teeth is not something that should be ignored. Your gums may bleed occasionally due to hard foods damaging them, but if the bleeding is frequent and persistent, it may be due to a more serious cause. 

Keep on reading to discover the six most common causes of bleeding gums and how they can be treated. 

1. You have gingivitis
After the dental plaque and cavity-causing bacteria accumulate in your mouth, your gum line can get inflamed. This can lead to gingivitis, a gum infection that is quite hard to spot unless your gums bleed when you brush or floss. Because gingivitis is practically symptom-free, it typically stays untreated and develops into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that can result in bone deterioration and tooth loss. Fortunately, gingivitis can be easily prevented and stopped with thorough dental hygiene and routine dental appointments and cleanings. 

2. You’re a female
The hormonal imbalance that occurs during periods and pregnancy can increase your odds of developing bleeding gums. Most women deal with recurrent hormonal gingivitis linked to their menstrual cycle. Pregnant women have a higher risk of different dental problems, including tooth decay, loose teeth, and gum disease, with the last one typically occurring between the second and eight months. If you suspect that hormone fluctuations may be the cause of your bleeding gums, consider undergoing a hormone test to check out your hormone levels. 

3. You smoke
Smoking can significantly increase your risk of having bleeding gums. Tobacco smoke can coat your teeth with dissolving toxins that can be very hard to remove with brushing. These dangerous toxins can cause your gums to become irritated and bleed. Those who smoke can also have a weakened immune system, compromised natural tissue healing, and not enough oxygen in their bloodstream. All of these issues can be detrimental to your gum line. Consider quitting smoking to preserve your dental and overall health.    

4. You have malnutrition
If you don’t consume the recommended everyday intake of fresh fruits and veggies, dairy products, grains, and proteins, you’re running a risk of developing bleeding gums. A healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition are essential not only for a healthy body but also for a healthy mouth. Also, consider eating more teeth-healthy foods like fatty fish, nuts, beef, chicken, and broccoli to help preserve your dental health. 

5. You’re on specific medications
Ever thought about why your dental specialist asks if you’re taking any new medicines? Certain prescription medicines can increase your chances of having bleeding gums. Anticonvulsants like Dilantin can cause your gums to become abnormally swollen. Specific blood pressure drugs and immunosuppressants can trigger gum inflammation and gum bleeding. Specific sedatives, antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and antihistamines can cause your mouth to dry out. Dry mouth is another common cause of various gum issues. A proper amount of saliva is essential to remove food residue from your mouth and neutralize gum-dissolving acid created by dangerous bacteria. If your salivary flow has decreased, try practicing proper dental hygiene and using artificial saliva substitutes. 

6. You have bad dental habits
Overbrushing, poor brushing, and not flossing can also lead to the occurrence of various dental problems, including swollen and bleeding gums, gum recession, and tooth decay. Besides, using a hard-bristled toothbrush can result in traumatized gums. Instead, consider using a soft-bristled version that is more gentle when cleaning your teeth and gums. 

The bottom line
If you have bleeding gums, consider quitting smoking, and check your hormone level to determine whether the hormonal imbalance is the culprit or not. Besides, make following proper dental hygiene and visiting a dental checkup your main priority.   

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