A little blood on your toothbrush once in a while is no cause for concern. It’s likely that you flossed or brushed a little too hard that time. If it shows up more than once a month or so, then it may be time to see your dentist. Your gums shouldn’t bleed regularly. Blood on your toothbrush that recurs often can indicate serious concerns. You may be experiencing symptoms of gingivitis, otherwise known as gum disease. This disease can lead to tooth loss, infection, and even bone decay in your jaw.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is the industry name for any infection happening to the gums. There are hundreds of individual bacteria types in our mouths. Most of them are beneficial and help protect our oral health. Streptococcus mutans is the one that is known for causing tooth decay and gum disease. It turns food and sugar into acid, which attacks our teeth and gums, leading to problems.
Two Common Stages Of Gum Disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis
When your battle with gum disease is just beginning, you’ll experience the symptoms of gingivitis. At this stage, the bacteria have yet to penetrate your gums and are just irritating the surface of them. Unfortunately, this can lead to bleeding, which allows them to penetrate the surface. Gingivitis can be easy to reverse with proper care.
Periodontitis is the name for gum disease that has gotten to the advanced stage. The bacteria have successfully infected your gums and cannot be eliminated at home. Your dentist will need to be called and special techniques used to get rid of it.
Some gum disease symptoms include:
- Pinking or redness on your floss or toothbrush after hygiene
- Tender or swollen gums
- Bad breath, known as halitosis
- Gingival pocketing, or spaces between your gums and teeth
Any of these symptoms are cause for concern. The more you have, the more likely you’re facing oral health concerns. See your dentist to learn what treatments are available.
A Quick Note On Treatment For Periodontal Disease
In your dentist’s bag of tricks can be found two techniques that are standard for periodontal disease. Each of them is an effective way of tackling this concern.
- Scaling and root planing: This time-tested treatment is the go-to for most dentists and is proven effective. Using special tools, they eliminate the bacteria and plaque below the gumline. They then smooth the tooth surface so bacteria can’t reattach.
- Laser treatment: Laser treatment is the newcomer to periodontal disease, but it’s gaining ground. A precisely tuned laser is aimed at infected tissue and eliminates it painlessly. It is quickly taking the place of scaling and root planing as the quickest and most effective method.
Start your fight against gum disease with a regular oral hygiene routine, including brushing twice a day. Flossing at least once a day will eliminate food debris that can cause cavities between teeth. Once you’ve finished, it’s time to rinse with mouthwash to tackle the bacteria that cause halitosis and tooth decay.