When the topic of oral health is brought up, the focus is usually placed on teeth and the possibility of getting cavities. However, there is definitely more to the mouth! Gums can be a good indicator of oral health as well as one’s overall health! Individuals may find that after brushing their gums may look red and they may even start bleeding. Many tend to dismiss these signs and just attribute them to good and thorough brushing. But wait! This is not the case.
First things first, there is a misconception that to get clean teeth, brushing needs to be done vigorously to get all the grime off. While afterwards your teeth may feel clean, your gums are not too pleased.
Remember: gums are made of soft tissue and when aggravated they can become sore and red. When choosing a toothbrush, it is important to opt for soft nylon bristle with blunt ends. Stores may carry brushes with medium or hard bristles; however they may damage the enamel on teeth and can cause swollen gums. The idea of being gentle goes the same for flossing. The goal of flossing is to remove leftover food and plaque stuck between teeth; it does not mean these particles need to be forcefully taken out. It is important to refrain from forcing the floss in between teeth; instead, carefully slide the floss up and down, following the curve of each tooth.
Aside from proper brushing and flossing, bleeding gums is actually a sign of gum disease. When proper dental hygiene is not practiced, bacteria takes over and plaque starts forming. The same bacteria that jumpstarts the formation of cavities as makes gums irritated and swollen. Bleeding gums is an early sign of gum disease, also know as gingivitis, and symptoms can be reversed with good oral hygiene. But if these symptoms are ignored, gingivitis can get worse, eventually leading to tooth loss. Be on the lookout for these symptoms:
- deep pockets between teeth and gums
- changes in the way teeth come together
- gums that bleed during/after toothbrushing
- shifting teeth
- red, swollen, tender gums
If you experience these symptoms, be sure to set up an appointment with the dentist to determine the necessary steps to keep these symptoms from getting worse. Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org