Bleeding gums and gum diseases are serious gum infections that if left untreated can lead to severe infection and tooth loss. Gum diseases are also called as periodontal diseases, which means ‘around the tooth’. The most common cause of gum disease is the build up of plaque and bacteria. The plaque forms a sticky and colourless film on the surface of your teeth. Severe plaque can lead to swelling, bleeding and inflammation of the gums. Here are some of the common gum diseases.
Bleeding Gums – A Warning Of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is also known as bleeding gums. In its earliest stages, gingivitis is relatively harmless and can be easily treated at home with basic self-care and good oral hygiene. In this, the gums become swollen and bleed easily. In mild cases, it can be easily reversed. All it needs is regular brushing and flossing. See a dentist once every six months for professional cleaning of teeth and removal of plaque.
Untreated gingivitis becomes severe and leads to a condition called as periodontitis. The gums begin to recede from the teeth and form pockets, which then become infected. If the infection is ignored, it can cause widespread destruction of tissue, teeth and the bones. This will lead to loose teeth, which may then begin to fall out or may have to be removed.
Signs Of Periodontitis
Some of the common symptoms of periodontitis include a sour taste in the mouth, bleeding gums, extremely bad breath, a change in the feel or the position of your dentures and gum tissue that recedes or falls away. The gums appear swollen, tender and painful.
A lot of bleeding may occur every time you brush your teeth. You may also detect loose spaces in between your teeth. A diagnosis of periodontitis is made with the help of an x-ray that examines the soft tissue surrounding the gum. Genetic susceptibility like Down’s syndrome may put you at risk of developing gum disease. In some cases, diabetics are more prone to developing gum disease.
Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis
This is a very rare and lethal form of gingivitis. This occurs when the gums are infected by bacteria and develop ulcers or open fissures on the gums. It is also called as Vincent’s gingivitis or trench mouth. This sort of gingivitis requires prolonged medical treatment as it can be very painful.
Prevention Of Gum Diseases
Gum diseases are best prevented through good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using a good mouthwash. A dentist may also do a professional cleaning by removing traces of plaque just below the gum line where it can affect the gums. Gum disease must never be ignored as it can lead to tooth loss and many other associated problems.
People who suffer from gum disease are more at risk for stroke and heart disease then those who have healthy gums. Chronic cases of gingivitis may require professional cleaning every 3-4 months to prevent the condition from exacerbating. It has been estimated that every person once in his/her lifetime has suffered from mild forms of gum disease.