Treatment for Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are a dental problem that your dentist can help you treat. The prescribed treatment, however, is dependent on the cause of your bleeding gums. Bleeding gums can be from over-the-top dental care or they can bleed from gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis).
Bleeding Gums Caused by Dental Habits
Once you notice that your gums are red, swollen, and bleeding it is important to consult your dentist. He or she can let you know what is causing the bleeding. If the problem is your dental care, you have a few simple options for treatment:
- Switch to a toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles with blunt ends
- Use gentle, circular motions rather than back-and-forth brushing
- Floss gently and regularly
Bleeding Gums Caused by Disease
Your examination may show that vigorous brushing and flossing is not the cause of your bleeding gums. It may be that you have a form of gum disease known as gingivitis or, the more serious disease, periodontitis.
Three quarters of Americans over the age of 35 will get gingivitis in their lifetime. Five to 15 percent of those Americans will develop periodontitis. Both are caused by bacteria that deteriorate the gum tissue and, when severe, the bone that holds your teeth in place. Symptoms of this are:
- Noticeable shifts in teeth positioning
- Bleeding during/after brushing
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath/bad taste in mouth
- Receding, red, swollen, or tender gums
Gum Disease Treatment Options
Once you are diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontitis, you have a few treatment options through your dentist. If you are diagnosed with the less severe gingivitis, it can be reversed with good oral health practices when caught early. However, periodontitis needs professional treatment before it gets out of control and causes tooth loss. This may be something simple like antibiotics or something more serious like surgery or tooth extraction.
One surgical option is a gingivectomy. This is when a dental surgeon removes or reshapes the diseased gum tissue to fix the problem. A similar procedure is gum grafting. This is when healthy gum tissue is moved from one place in the mouth to another to replace diseased gum tissue.
A flap procedure is another surgical option. This surgery cleans the actual roots of the tooth and repairs bone damage that may have occurred from the gum disease.
Guided tissue regeneration can also be performed by a dental surgeon. This is when a specially designed lining is placed between the bone and gum tissue. This lining will help restore the damaged bones and assure that the gum tissue reattaches to the restored bone.
No matter what option you and your dentist decide on, it is important to maintain good oral health before and after the surgery. This includes brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding tobacco products. You will also have to keep a stricter visitation schedule with your dentist. Follow-up appointments every three to four months are usually necessary after surgery.
To avoid bleeding gums and gum disease in general, try taking these precautions:
- Gently floss and brush daily
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Keep hydrated
- Avoid tobacco products
- Avoid overly hot or cold foods