If your gums are bleeding, it could be a sign of periodontal disease and you should see a dentist immediately. Too many people ignore bleeding gums, hoping they will just “go away.” Unfortunately, bleeding gums can not only be a sign of more serious dental problems, they can also be a sign of chronic diseases such as diabetes or even atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease.
If you have periodontal disease and it is treated right away, it can usually be reversed. However, if you wait too long, it can develop into more serious forms of periodontal disease, requiring expensive or long-term treatment and it can lead to serious systemic diseases such as those mentioned above.
According to oral health surveys performed in Australia, as many as 25% of Australian adults have moderate to severe forms of periodontal disease. Once you reach the age of 65, that number increases to more than 50%.
When to See the Dentist
The least severe form of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup near the intersection of the tooth and gum. If the plaque is not removed, it causes inflammation in the gum tissue by the bacteria which form the plaque.
The first warning sign is if your gums bleed after brushing your teeth. If your gums appear to be smooth, shiny and swollen, you probably have gingivitis. If your gums are healthy, they should be coral pink and with a stippled texture, similar to an orange peel.
Usually, gingivitis can be remedied by brushing and flossing every day, which removes the plaque. However, the best solution by far is to have your teeth cleaned on a regular basis by the dentist. This means at least once a year. Some like to have their teeth checked and cleaned every six months.
If you have gingivitis, we recommend seeing the dentist immediately. If it has already progressed to forms of periodontal disease, it is even more important to go to the dentist ASAP.
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