Why do my gums bleed?

Slade Dental PracticeWhen your gums bleed it means that you have gum disease (or gingivitis). Healthy gums do NOT bleed. The gums appear red and inflamed and you may be aware of a bad taste or bad breath. The gums are not necessarily painful and gingivitis can progress for many years without pain. Gum disease is caused by plaque. This is the sticky film of bacteria that naturally forms on the teeth of everybody every day. If gingivitis progresses, it can spread to the bone supporting the teeth (periodontitis). In the long term, if this is left untreated, you could lose your teeth.

Gum disease is preventable and, in its early stages, can be completely cured by a good homecare regime to remove the build up of plaque from all the surfaces of all the teeth.



What can I do to help protect my teeth?

Brush and floss daily. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside, between the teeth and the biting surface. Be sure the bristles are firm, not bent, and replace your toothbrush regularly to safeguard against re-infecting your mouth with old bacteria that can collect on the brush. Only buy toothpastes and rinses that contain fluoride.

Cut down on sweets, fizzy drinks and snacks in between meals.

Visit your dentist and hygienist every six months for consultation and professional cleaning.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is a very common problem and there are many different causes. Persistent  bad breath is usually caused by the smelly gases released by the bacteria that coat your teeth and gums. However, strong foods like garlic and onions can add to the problem. Smoking is also one of the main causes of bad breath, along with certain illnesses such as nasal and stomach conditions. Bits of food that get caught between the teeth and on the tongue will rot and can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell. So correct and regular brushing is very important to keep your breath smelling fresh.

One of the warning signs of gum disease is that you always have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
Regular check-ups will allow your dentist to watch out for any areas where plaque is caught between your teeth. Your dentist or hygienist will be able to clean all those areas that are difficult to reach. They will also be able to show you the best way to clean your teeth and gums, and show you any areas you may be missing, including your tongue.

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