It is not normal to see blood while brushing or flossing your teeth. A person with bleeding gums should take action as soon as possible.
Bleeding gums are most likely due to gingivitis or its cousin, periodontal disease. These are both unhealthy conditions of the gingiva or gum tissue.
I used a Hydro Floss Oral Irrigator daily to get my gums to stop bleeding.
Periodontal disease is more advanced than mere gingivitis. Both need attention to help prevent tooth loss and other potential health problems.
Gum disease usually begins with bacterial growth inside a biofilm called plaque.
The gums become irritated which causes them to bleed and separate from around the tooth, forming a pocket.
A person suffering from gum disease could lose the supporting structure around the tooth (including bone) and finally the tooth itself.
The situation doesn’t need to progress that far and there are things you can do to improve your dental health . You also should be working with a periodontist or dentist to review all of your options.
Many people might think that having a cavity would be the leading cause of tooth loss, but it is not. Actually, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss.
You may know some people who have lost many or even most of their teeth. To prevent experiencing a similar situation it is important for a person to pay close attention to the state of his gum health .
It is also dangerous in that once their is a breach in your gum tissue, where bleeding occurs, it is possible for bacteria to enter your blood stream and further infect the body.
A dentist or periodontist may offer you several options to improve the situation by arresting the progress of the gum disease and/or rebuild lost gum tissue.
Some options may include a deep under the gum cleaning and the insertion of a bone matrix to rebuild the supporting structure and allow for recovery of the lost gingiva.
If you don’t like your dentist’s advice, you have every right to seek a second or third opinion from another qualified dentist or periodontist (essentially a gum specialist).
I do have an opinion on this particular matter. I worry that many dental professionals have an interest in treating problems rather than preventing them.
I believe that many of them are more interested in making money by fixing a problem than by teaching us to prevent one.
As an example, here is a little article I wrote about my own experiences with dentists.
One told me that I had a cavity that she wanted to drill into and fill.
A little research on my part, revealed that I didn’t really have a cavity, after all.
When I went to a different dentist, six months later, there was no cavity to be found.
Dentistry has a term for this, it is called ‘reversible pulpitis‘. In other words, you can have the ‘start’ of a cavity but your body can ‘heal’, the enamel can firm and may never develop into a full fledged cavity.
Here is a question for you, ‘has your dentist EVER mentioned the term ‘reversible pulpitis’ to you?’ Chances are, he or she NEVER has.
Why not? At the risk of sounding a bit on the cynical side, there is a definite financial benefit to the dentist for ‘drilling and filling’. Some of them will even go so far as to say they are practicing ‘preventive dentistry’.
Umm…. in plain terms, I was the victim of a predator. The predator was a money grabbing dentist. I don’t let her near my mouth now. I’m thankful that I had sense enough to do a little research.
I’m not saying all trouble spots are reversible pulpitis, some could be irreversible and already are or will develop into a cavity. So you do need your dentist, hopefully an honest one that will tell you the truth.
Anyway, back to the question of gum disease.
Here is a quote I obtained from the Mizar5 site (quote is from a dentist):
“In my opinion the whole thing boils down to one simple fact:
The dental establishment is scared to death that the public
is going to realize that the entire profession has been making
a living by repairing the results of a disease they could have
been curing all along!”
– Robert O. Nara, D.D.S.
That’s from a dentist. Sound extreme? It may be, but there is usually a grain of truth in statements like that. How much truth? Each must decide for himself.
To be safe, you do need to be making decisions about your oral health with a dentist. Hopefully, you’ll have a very honest one.
Here is what I do to keep my gums healthy. I’m not suggesting that you do what I do. I’m just telling you what is working for me. I had gingivitis too. My gums are much, much healthier than they used to be.
I use the hydrofloss . I have nothing against the Water Pik or any other oral irrigation devices. It is just that I have used the hydrofloss, it works and I’m going to keep on using it. I haven’t tried any other kind of oral irrigator. I’ll stick with what I know works.
I don’t use the hydrofloss with water only though. I add an oxygenated compound similar to the one you’ll find in the above link.
I use it daily. I shoot for a minimum of 2 uses per day. I’ve watched the health of my gums drastically improve from using it. Of course, I still brush and use regular floss too.
To give you a hint: before I started using it my hygienist and dentist recommended a ‘scaling and root planing’. They numb your gums with an anesthetic and then they scrape below your gum line to clean out any tarter / calculus buildup.
I didn’t like the sound of that. I decided to hold off and do a little research on my own. I’m glad I did. Read on.
After some research I bought the hydrofloss . I used it for several months and went back to my dentist. They said I no longer needed the root scaling and planing, my gums had improved and they said something about me being a compliant patient.
The funny thing is, I didn’t follow their advice at all. Yet I was a ‘compliant’ patient because my gums healed up. Kind of sounds like taking credit you don’t deserve to me.
Gum disease is serious . Do something about it so that you can keep your teeth for the long haul.
Colgate makes a toothpaste called Total. I don’t use it, but it is supposed to contain triclosan to help fight the bacteria that cause gingivitis. Here is a natural alternative [AFF] link. This alternative is not approved by the ADA and it does not contain fluoride, which may be useful to prevent cavities.
I personally don’t think that is enough. I believe I need a hydrofloss or something like it to clean around the ‘neck’ of the tooth. It needs to be done daily. Plaque can form in a short period of time, so daily hydroflossing can help prevent damage to my gum tissue.
Seek help and work with your dental professional on getting your gums back into shape. Bleeding gums indicates a problem that needs attention. Don’t let it go.
It is very important that you still go to your dentist for treatment, just pick a good one.
Comments have been made on this post. (scroll down to see them). You can also tell us about your own experiences with the dental profession here.
This article speaks in general. If you have a specific question about your dental health, you should ask your dentist or doctor for the answers.