It is not uncommon for patients to notice a streak of blood in their spit after brushing their teeth. If you only notice it once, you may have brushed too hard or had a sensitive area on your gums. However, if you consistently notice pink in the sink during your oral hygiene routine, it is best to make an appointment with your dentist.
Bleeding gums are a primary sign of gum disease. Gum disease typically begins with the slow but steady accumulation of plaque along your teeth roots and gum line. When the plaque doesn’t get brushed away, it hardens and causes the gums to pull away from the tooth roots. Here, it creates deep pockets of tissue for food debris, bacteria and more plaque to accumulate. This triggers a serious gum infection that needs to be treated.
While gum disease begins with the slightly disruptive symptoms of gingivitis, it can quickly progress to advanced periodontitis, where your underlying bone and teeth are at risk for survival. Therefore, it becomes imperative that you take the necessary measures to stop gum disease in its relentless journey to destroy your smile.
If you see blood after brushing or flossing, this probably means your gums are inflamed (swollen) or irritated. These are indicators that your gum health is compromised and needs to be restored. There are several things your dentist can do to reverse the early signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums:
A simple routine cleaning. How long has it been since you saw a dentist? Your smile may benefit from a simple, yet professional, dental cleaning to get your gums back on track.
A change in your oral hygiene routine. It is almost a guarantee that your dentist will also encourage you to do a better job with your brushing and flossing efforts, whether that includes better technique or more frequency.
A deep cleaning. One of the first and most effective lines of defense for mild to moderate gum disease is a deep cleaning. This is different than a routine cleaning, and is termed a “scaling and root planing” procedure. This extensive cleaning will eradicate the bacteria from deep inside your gum pockets as well as encourage the gums to reattach to the tooth roots.
An advanced laser treatment. In more severe cases, gum disease patients may need a more advanced course of treatment, which may involve soft tissue dental lasers to restore your gum health.
An evaluation of your risk factors. In all cases, it is important to recognize your risk factors for gum disease so that you can avoid “pink in the sink” episodes going forward. For example, a family history of gum disease and regular use of tobacco products will dramatically increase your chances for gum disease.
Your gums should be able to withstand a regular brushing session for two minutes, twice a day. If you are holding back your cleaning efforts for fear of irritating your gums, you may need to consider a visit to Gilreath Family Dentistry for gum disease evaluation and treatment.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,