Any time you notice your gums are bleeding, you should take steps to find its cause. While there are some mild reasons as to why your gums are bleeding, it could be an indication of a more concerning issue. For example, something as simple as brushing or flossing too hard could cause your gums to bleed. However, bleeding gums are an early sign of gum disease. Without intervention, gum disease can lead to serious health problems.
The most common cause of bleeding gums is a buildup of plaque along the gum line. Plaque removed incorrectly can cause your gums to become inflamed, a condition known as gingivitis. Over time, plaque can harden into tartar, which is a calcified form of plaque. Unfortunately, you cannot remove tartar at home or through a daily dental routine. Only a dental professional can get rid of tartar during a dental cleaning.
Tartar buildup makes it difficult to clean your teeth properly, leading to more plaque buildup that turns into tartar. It becomes a cycle that will eventually turn into gum disease. Without treatment, you could develop an advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis, which can affect more than just your gums.
What Does Gum Disease Affect?
Gum disease is a serious medical condition that can affect your overall health if left alone. The inflammation that affects your gums can cause inflammation in your heart and valves. This can put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Eventually, the inflammation can turn into an infection that can travel through your bloodstream and affect other organ systems, including your heart. Infections that pass through your bloodstream need immediate medical attention because they can be fatal.
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between poor oral health and heart disease. Bacteria naturally lives and thrives in your mouth, but a good oral health routine keeps it in check. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth as you should, this bacteria can increase and spread to other places in your body through your bloodstream.
The same plaque that builds on your teeth is the same plaque that can be found in your arteries. Clogged arteries cause your heart to perform inefficiently, which can take a toll on your body and overall health.
Periodontitis is the progressive inflammation and infection of the gums that can move into the ligaments and bone in your jaw and mouth. The ligaments and bones provide support for your teeth to sit correctly. Deterioration can alter the support, so your teeth will become loose and begin to shift. Failing to treat periodontitis will lead to your teeth ultimately falling out.
As the plaque and tartar build on your teeth, small pockets form between your teeth and gums. In addition, the swelling and inflammation caused by periodontitis will slowly affect the soft tissues of your gum and progress into the bones surrounding your teeth. Therefore, you can experience bone loss due to gum disease, which will need restorative or reconstructive methods to fix.