Synopsis: Bleeding gums can be one sign of periodontal disease gingivitis or other serious health problems.
Other symptoms of poor dental health may include persistent bad breath, toothache, and receding gums.
Periodontitis - Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. Periodontitis is very common, and is widely regarded as the second most common disease worldwide, after dental decay.
Gingivitis - Gingivitis is an irritation of the gums. It is usually caused by bacterial plaque that accumulates in the small gaps between the gums and the teeth and by calculus (tartar) that forms on the teeth.
Untreated, bleeding gums and gum disease can lead to serious medical problems. Good oral hygiene, including thorough brushing and the removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth, is crucial. However, brushing alone is not enough to stop bleeding gums.
Total oral hygiene requires a comprehensive plan to care for the entire mouth, including the teeth and gums, but also including all of the tissue inside the mouth.
Bleeding gums may indicate other medical problems.
The Academy of General Dentistry points out that bleeding gums and problems that occur in the mouth may point to other serious conditions.
Bad breath and bleeding gums are a strong indicator of diabetes.
Gum disease can complicate a heart condition.
A sore and painful jaw is a clue for a potential heart attack.
Dental x-rays may show the first signs of osteoporosis.
Bleeding gums may also be an indication of canker sores.
Canker sores are caused by a virus. Bleeding gums may occur when canker sores become irritated.
Bleeding gums may also be caused by age. As we age, many people find that their gums begin to recede, making them literally "long in the tooth."
Untreated, receding gums can lead to tooth loss. Your dentist can determine whether your bleeding gums are caused by canker sores, receding gums, periodontal infection or periodontal disease, or other causes.
An accurate diagnosis to determine why you have bleeding gums is an important part of choosing the appropriate course of treatment.
Help for Bleeding gums
Bleeding gums and other oral health problems are treatable if they are caught early and taken care of before the condition gets out of hand.
Millions of Americans neglect to take care of their gums, teeth and mouth, often with tragic results.
If you have a toothache, canker sore, receding gums, or excessive plaque or tartar, then you should take steps to correct the problem. Bleeding gums are unhealthy and unattractive. You don't have to live with bleeding gums.