It might not seem like a big deal, especially if your teeth and gums feel otherwise fine. But bleeding gums are a more serious warning than many people give them credit for. In most cases, it signifies the presence of gingivitis—an infection in your gum tissues caused by excessive oral bacteria buildup. As gingivitis spreads, it causes rampant inflammation in your gums and will eventually mature into full blown gum disease. If your gums are bleeding, then heed the warning and schedule a visit with your dentist to protect your smile and overall oral health.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis literally means inflammation of the gums, which is also its most prominent symptom next to bleeding. When oral bacteria adhere to your teeth and form plaque, some of them tend to gather along your gum line and can eventually work their way underneath the tissues. The bacteria infect the gums, particularly Porphyromonas gingivalis, which incite and exacerbate tissue inflammation.

In time, gingivitis will lead to more severe gum disease, or periodontitis, and lead to the irreversible erosion of your healthy gums and jawbone structure. Because of the damage it causes, periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.

How can my dentist treat it?

When detected early, gingivitis can be treated and often reversed with improved hygiene practices and periodontal cleaning (deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing) with your dentist. Like a regular dental cleaning, deep cleaning involves carefully cleaning away plaque, tartar, and oral bacteria. However, during the procedure, your dentist will access and clean away the roots of your teeth that lie underneath your gums. If you’ve already developed gum disease, then scaling and root planing may be followed by a schedule of periodontal treatment and maintenance to restore your good oral health.

If your gums are bleeding, then don’t hesitate. Protect and preserve your smile by scheduling a visit with your dentist as soon as possible. Call our dental office in Sunnyvale, CA today at (408) 720-0900, or toll free at (877) 9-DENTAL.

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