For the past several mornings, you’ve noticed some blood in the sink while brushing your teeth. You may wonder if something is wrong with your gums—and how serious the issue may be.
Unfortunately, bleeding is a key warning sign of gum disease. This type of disease doesn’t just affect your mouth; it impacts your overall health.
Naturally, you may be asking “What are the main causes for gum disease,” and “Does gum disease go away on its own?” Here’s a rundown on gum disease’s chief causes and what you can do to treat it.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an oral inflammatory condition that impacts the soft and hard structures supporting your teeth.
Mild gum disease, which affects only the gums, is known as gingivitis. If left untreated, the infection that leads to gingivitis may travel below the gum line and enter the bone. At this point, it becomes periodontitis—a severe form of the disease.
Causes for Gum Disease
The chief culprit in the development of gum disease is plaque—a bacterial film that develops on the teeth and gums. If you don’t rinse, floss, and brush thoroughly and often enough (twice a day for brushing, and once a day for flossing), then you won’t remove this film. This increases your chances of experiencing gum disease.
The chief causes of gum disease also include not getting all of your vitamins every day, especially vitamin C. If your diet is high in carbohydrates and sugar, as well as low in vitamin C and water, gum issues are virtually unavoidable.
Smoking is yet another one of the main causes of gum disease. That’s because tobacco use interferes with gum cells’ normal function, which makes your oral cavity more susceptible to gum infection.
Causes for gum disease further include a family history of gingivitis or periodontitis. If your grandparents or parents suffered from these diseases, this may increase your chances of developing a bacterial infection in your gums as well.
Gum Disease Symptoms
One of the main signs of gum disease is sore, red, swollen, gums. This occurs because bacteria form below the gums. You may also notice your gum tissue receding around your teeth, causing your tooth roots to be exposed.
Bad breath is yet another indicator that you have fallen victim to one of the main causes of gum disease. The reason for this is that the mouth houses several million bacteria due to being the perfect wet, warm home for them. The bacteria feed on your teeth’s plaque and release toxins in the process. These toxins may irritate your teeth and gums, and unfortunately, they feature a detestable smell.
Gum Disease Complications and Effects
All these causes of gum disease may ultimately impact not only your gums but also the tissues connecting your gums to your teeth. Your infection might furthermore impact your jawbone, leading to bone deterioration. All of this can prevent your gums from securing your teeth long term, leading to tooth loss.
Gum disease may additionally lead to cardiovascular disease, therefore leading to more strokes and heart attacks. This may sound extreme, but it’s possible because bacteria in your gums can enter the bloodstream and trigger atherosclerosis, where plaque forms and hardens in the arteries. This can increase your chances of developing blood clots.
Respiratory problems, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, may also result from gum disease. This can happen if your mouth’s bacteria pass into the respiratory tract. Gum disease might also exacerbate a current respiratory condition, such as asthma or COPD, due to increased inflammation in your airways.
At-Home Gum Disease Treatments
Even with such dire consequences, swollen gums aren’t necessarily a reason to panic. Gum disease does go away with the help of a variety of at-home treatments. For starters, consider drinking green tea, which is antioxidant-rich and therefore helps to reduce the inflammation of the gums. This decreases the damage done to your gums as well as the supporting bone.
Saltwater also helps to eliminate gum disease-causing bacteria. This natural disinfectant effectively heals inflamed tissues in the mouth by causing fluids to leave the swollen areas of your mouth.
Baking soda additionally works against your mouth’s harmful bacteria, making it a viable at-home gum disease treatment. This substance furthermore neutralizes the acids responsible for causing inflammation and tooth surface damage. Simply mix a tiny amount of it with water, then gently brush your teeth with the slurry.
When to See a Dentist for Gum Disease Treatment
If these at-home tricks don’t give you relief, you may be asking “How else does gum disease go away?” A dentist can help you to eliminate your gum infection through dental cleanings every six months.
You should see a dentist if your bite is beginning to feel different due to the shifting of your teeth. Likewise, schedule an appointment with a dentist if you notice that your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold beverages, your gums itch, or if your gums hurt when you touch them.
Target the Causes of Gum Disease with Help from Definitive Dental
At Definitive Dental, we are known for dentistry done right. We are ready to thoroughly examine and clean your teeth to keep gum disease at bay. We can also help you to prevent many of the main causes of gum disease to keep your teeth in tip-top shape moving forward.
As a prospective patient of our premium dentistry practice, you can expect a callback on the same day, usually within two hours of filling out a form on our website. In addition, we provide a Pain-Free Guarantee, where we offer profound numbing when needed to ensure your comfort during any procedure. From start to finish, we are committed to guiding you, our valued patient, to complete oral health.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can preserve and enhance your smile in the months and years ahead.