Everybody wants a beautiful smile with bright white teeth and pink, healthy gums. However, according to a study conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than half of Americans over the age of 30 notice bleeding when they brush or floss their teeth.

The problem is that bleeding in the mouth isn’t natural. When your gums bleed after brushing or flossing, it’s usually related to periodontal disease. You’ve probably heard the term before, but if you take decent care of your teeth, you probably also feel like it couldn’t happen to you.

Keep reading to learn more about periodontal disease symptoms, risks, and treatment options. Even if you brush and floss regularly, periodontal disease might be causing problems in your mouth.

What Is Periodontal Disease?Periodontitis

Breaking the word down, “peri” means around, and “odontal” is a term that refers to the teeth. In simpler terms, periodontal issues are those related to the gums and structures that support the teeth in the mouth.

When periodontal issues occur, it is because of bacteria around the teeth and under the gum line. Over time, the bacteria create inflammation and discomfort, which is why you may experience bleeding after blushing or flossing.

How it Happens

Periodontal disease is hard for dentists to pin down, but in some cases, certain behaviors are obvious indicators. Lack of proper dental hygiene is a primary issue, but in the U.S., most people do manage to brush their teeth on a regular basis.

Behavioral indicators like smoking and tobacco use, grinding your teeth, and even heredity can play a role in the development of periodontal issues. Diseases like diabetes and some medications can also lead to periodontal issues.

To get to the root cause, you’ll need to visit your dentist and discuss what may be causing your problems.

Common Symptoms

The most common symptom of periodontal issues is bleeding gums. This bleeding typically occurs when a person is brushing or flossing, though it can occur when a person eats hard or sharp foods, like a whole apple or crackers.

Discomfort when eating, brushing and/or flossing is also a common sign. Dark pinkish, red gums that look inflamed are typically the only visual warning sign of early periodontal disease, though built-up plaque around the gum line may point to potential bacteria that can’t be seen.

What are the Risks?

Bleeding gums are obviously a problem, and nobody wants to experience regular discomfort when chewing, brushing or flossing. As periodontal issues get worse, bacterial infection can spread to the bones, resulting in loose teeth and damage to the bones that support your teeth.

As periodontal issues advance, many sufferers will find that teeth need to be extracted and bone damage in the jaw can occur.

Treatment Options

To treat periodontal disease symptoms, dentists start out with a simple cleaning. From there, a procedure known as scaling and root planing is often used to remove plaque and irritants from beneath the gum line.

After scaling and root planing, careful monitoring of dental health and special mouthwash may be recommended. Periodontal pain symptoms typically go away within a few weeks of the completion of treatment.

Dr. David Brumbaugh

Contact R. David Brumbaugh, D.D.S to learn more about early periodontitis and aggressive periodontitis treatments and to schedule an in-office exam. No matter where you are on the periodontitis spectrum, R. David Brumbaugh D.D.S can help you get and keep a healthy mouth and beautiful smile!

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