Bleeding While Flossing: A Sign of Gum Disease?

The most likely cause of mild bleeding of the gums is gingivitis, an inflammatory condition that is usually the first indication that you have gum disease. Without treatment, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a serious oral health issue that can lead to tooth loss. 

Fortunately, gingivitis is easy to reverse. You’ll need to enlist your dentist’s care, and in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, that means Lakeside Family Dental. As general and cosmetic dentists, they know that the beauty of your smile depends on excellent oral health. At the first sign of bleeding when you floss, book an appointment to get a head start on the issue. 

The reason your gums bleed

Gingivitis results from excess plaque formation. This gummy film of bacteria hardens into tartar. These substances cause an immune response that attacks gum tissue. The accompanying inflammation makes your gums more sensitive, filled with the byproducts of the immune system response. When gum disease starts, your gums can bleed easily for a wide range of reasons. Here’s a list of some of the most common. 

Overflossing and overbrushing

When your gums are swollen from the inflammation accompanying gingivitis, it doesn’t take much to start the bleeding. Getting aggressive now, after gum disease is starting, is too late. Plaque and tartar have already taken hold and it takes a dental office cleaning to break these down. 

Oral hygiene at home

No one escapes the hectic requirements of daily life. Work, family, and even relaxation can interrupt virtually any routine. When you miss brushing and flossing sessions due to your own timetable upheavals, you can be sure that the causes of gingivitis stay active. That’s perhaps the biggest reason for maintaining regular dental visits. 

Tobacco use

Continued use of cigarettes and other tobacco products makes your oral health battles that much harder. Conditions in your mouth support gingivitis development and work against your brushing and flossing efforts. 

Age and genetics

There’s nothing you can do to stop time or change your family history. Age and genetics can play a role in your susceptibility to gum disease. Being aware of these factors, though, can help you take the extra steps you need to ward off bleeding gums. 

Blood thinning drugs

Medications that thin your blood can make bleeding gums more obvious, since clotting doesn’t occur as quickly. Review regularly taken medications with your dentist to see if you may have other reasons for sensitive gums. 

Your dental home care can’t stay ahead of gum disease, and that’s why regular checkups are so important for keeping your teeth and gums straight. Gum disease won’t wait, so call Lakeside Family Dental to schedule your next visit now. 

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