Bleeding or inflamed gums are one of the most serious dental problems a patient can experience. Possible causes of this condition include improper brushing, poor nutrition, and lack of dental care. Whatever the case, the solution is to see a dentist in Oklahoma City as soon as possible. Failing to do so could threaten the sufferer’s health and lead to debilitating or even life-threatening complications.
What Makes Gums Bleed?
Possible causes of this problem include:
- Incorrect brushing techniques and/or using the wrong type of brush. For example, some people brush in haste, applying too much pressure in an effort to remove as much plaque as possible. While their intent is good, the results can include bleeding gums. The same issue can occur if a person with sensitive teeth uses a hard-bristled brush.
- Using the wrong type of dental floss and/or flossing incorrectly. For example, some people floss using an up-and-down motion, which can lead to minor gum bleeding.
- Lack of regular care. Maintaining adequate dental health requires periodic cleanings and checkups. Brushing and flossing alone are not enough.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Like the rest of the body, teeth and gums depend on proper nutrition in order to stay healthy. Bleeding gums are a classic symptom of problems like scurvy, in which the patient fails to ingest sufficient amounts of Vitamin C. Habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and illicit drug use can exacerbate this condition.
- Gingivitis or periodontal disease. Infected or irritated gums can recede from the adjoining teeth, creating gaps in which bacterial infections take root. This may create a vicious cycle in which the eroding jawline contributes to gum damage and vice versa. Left untreated, this can lead to facial disfigurement requiring reconstructive surgery to correct.
Many Possible Causes But Only One Real Answer
Whatever the cause of bleeding gums, the solution is to seek immediate dental care. A dentist can diagnose the underlying issue and offer a number of therapeutic options. These may include:
- Antibiotics to destroy the infectious organisms. In certain cases, this can require a hospital stay to administer intravenous medications.
- Improved dietary and dental care habits. Most cases of bleeding gums point back to unhealthy or incorrect lifestyle choices. The problem will never go away until the cause is remedied. If the issue is due to poor brushing or flossing technique, then a dentist or dental assistant can offer corrective instruction. The patient may need to use a different type of brush or brand pf floss altogether.
- Laser or surgical treatments. Sometimes infected gums require removal, both for the patient’s physical well-being and for aesthetic reasons. Lasers offer a gentle alternative to conventional surgical tools such as scalpels.
The dentist may also prescribe anti-inflammatory agents and pain blockers to manage associated discomfort. Long-term recovery will depend on the patient exercising better self-care habits.
Bleeding gums are one of the body’s most serious warning signs. See a dentist in OKC right away if you suffer from this problem. In almost all cases, prompt treatment can resolve the condition and help you to regain your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Joe Isaacson is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. Oklahoma magazine rates him as one of OKC’s top dentists. You can reach his office online or by calling (405) 943-8575.