Address: 3325 Premier Drive, Plano, TX 75023

Dentist Explains Why Your Gums Bleed For Gum Disease Awareness Month!

February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to learn more about the serious impact it can have on your smile and overall health. Since it’s estimated that 65 million Americans have some form of gum disease (also called periodontal disease), there’s a good chance that you or someone you know has it. Keep reading to learn about bleeding gums and other signs of periodontal disease as well as what treatment options are available. 

What Is Periodontal Disease? 

This common condition occurs when bacteria cause inflammation of the gums and underlying bone that support the teeth and keep them in place. These structures are progressively destroyed over time, which explains why periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. 

Many studies have also shown that periodontal disease increases the risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s and certain cancers. Researchers think these risks increase as inflammation in the gums “spreads” throughout the rest of the body.

Why Do My Gums Bleed When Brushing or Flossing? 

Generally speaking, inflammation is your body’s response to injury or infection and causes symptoms like pain, heat, bleeding, and swelling. When your gums first become inflamed in the earliest stage of periodontal disease (called gingivitis, which literally means “inflamed gums”) they respond by bleeding easily and feeling tender or swollen. 

As inflammation progresses to later stages, the symptoms also progress. In addition to bleeding, you may notice:

Although advanced stages of periodontal disease can’t be reversed or cured, it can be treated to keep it from getting worse and lower your risk of tooth loss and general health problems. 

How Is Periodontal Disease Treated? 

Here are several examples of periodontal therapy that a dentist may recommend: 

If you haven’t already, Gum Disease Awareness Month is a great time to schedule a checkup with a dentist. After they’ve evaluated your gums, they’ll make a plan to keep them healthy over the long-term. 

For some people, that may involve nothing more than 6-month cleanings and checkups. Others may benefit from one of the treatments listed above. Either way, you’ll be taking steps towards not only maintaining your smile, but your overall health as well! 

About the Author

Dr. Kari Blankenship is a family dentist with advanced training in several specialty areas, including periodontics. She and her colleague, Dr. Patel, offer multiple options for periodontal therapy that help their patients manage gum disease and improve their overall well-being. If you’d like to know more about your gums or have any questions, she can be reached via her website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Correct a Gummy Smile

When we try to connect with others, a smile can mean a great deal. A condition with excessive gums, also called a gummy smile, can impact how people see you and make you feel self-conscious about your teeth. Keep reading to learn more.

4 Ways Your Dentist is Protecting Patients & Themselves

During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s top priority is staying healthy. Dental offices are increasing their already high standards of sanitation and disinfection to ensure that patients are receiving the dental care they need in a safe and...