According to an American Dental Association survey, about a third of Americans believe that seeing a little blood in the sink after brushing and flossing is normal. However, when you see blood in the sink, it’s a sign that your oral health is threatened, and it may mean that you should consider changing your routine, see your dentist, or both.
Gum Disease Is Common
Perhaps the reason why so many believe that blood in the sink is normal is that gum disease is very common. Perhaps 70% or more of adults have some form of the disease. The most common form is gingivitis, which results in tender, swollen gums.
When your gums are bleeding, you may be progressing to the more serious form of the disease, periodontitis, which may lead to bone damage around your teeth. As you lose bone, your teeth may become loose and may eventually come out.
Signs of Gum Disease
How do you know if you have gum disease? Watch for these symptoms:
Persistent bad breath
Red, sensitive, swollen gums
Teeth that seem to be getting longer (actually, your gums are receding)
If you notice these symptoms, it’s time to see a dentist.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best treatment for gum disease is a good oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes each time, and floss every day. Next, make sure you see your dentist every six months. Your dentist will assess the health of your gums and remove hardened deposits known as tartar or dental calculus that you can’t remove with brushing.
If your oral hygiene isn’t sufficient to keep gum disease under control between visits, your dentist may recommend changes to your routine. These may include:
Brushing more frequently or at different times
Different techniques for brushing or flossing
Using an electric toothbrush
Changing habits that contribute to gum disease, such as snacking between meals or smoking
In our office, we have found that CariFree is a powerful preventive treatment for gum disease as well as cavities because it prevents the growth of bacteria. It helps people who cannot seem to get ahead of gum disease and tooth decay despite good brushing and flossing habits.
If you need help with gum disease or want to learn more about CariFree’s preventive power, please contact Dr. James B. Polley in Summerlin today.