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Gum Messages – What are They Saying?

January 17, 2017

Taking care of your gums is an extremely important part of your dental health. If your gums are not in top shape, they will let you know. You just need to know what gum messages to watch for. There are easy to see signs of trouble with your gums.

Here are Red Flag Gum Messages….

Swelling, Redness, Puffiness:

These are usually signs of inflammation and may possibly be an early indicator of gingivitis. This is also known as gum disease. It can also be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection. Bleeding and puffy gums can be a sign of hormone changes too. Pregnancy, Puberty and Menopause are phases where this is seen.  A good dental cleaning is what is in order to help the gums stop being puffy and red.

Receding Gum Line:

Gum recession happens when the gum tissue wears away. This exposes more of the tooth and even the root. First, receding gums can be caused by gum disease or bone loss. Secondly, it is often caused by brushing too hard. Most frequently, we see recession caused by clenching or grinding your teeth. If you notice that your gum line is receding and you are seeing more of your tooth, make sure you see your Dentist to determine the cause. Many times, patients need a Night Guard if the patient is exhibiting signs of Bruxism (night grinding).  These are made at your Dental Office and properly fitted to prevent grinding. When the teeth are not flexing due to the pressures of Bruxism, the gums will stop receding.

Bleeding:

Bleeding gums are NEVER normal! This is a sign of gum disease. If you just started flossing, your gums may bleed a little bit at first. The bleeding should stop if you floss daily for a week. Your gums have blood vessels in them. Irritations to the gums are food impaction, plaque build up or tartar build up. When the gums are irritated, they increase the vascularity in that area. Think of your child getting a cut on their arm that gets infected….it gets red and swollen.  That is what happens in your mouth. Your body is trying to flush the irritation away. If you are brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, you should not have bleeding. People on blood thinners can be the exception to that rule. Call us to have your teeth cleaned and an exam to figure out why your gums are bleeding.

Lastly, many gum messages are a symptom of gum disease. It is very important to see your Dentist so the cause can be treated before it advances to a more difficult stage involving the bone.