Red, swollen and irritated gums, followed by blood in the sink after brushing or flossing, are some of the first signs of early gum problems. Gums go from firm and healthy pink to irritated, red and puffy. Gum irritation and bleeding gums are due to increasing amounts of plaque on the teeth as the body’s inflammatory response kicks in. When the gums are inflamed and agitated, they bleed easily when brushed or flossed .
The most common cause of irritated gums and receding gums is an inconsistent oral care routine at home. Improper brushing technique can further aggravate these issues. Not brushing and flossing regularly, or properly, allows food and germs to lodge in between the tooth and gums, creating a home for germs to multiply and become dental plaque. If this buildup of plaque at the gum line is not removed with a good, healthy clean-mouth routine, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed with professional dental tools.
It is important to know that there is a window of time when you can still reverse the germ infection, even if the gums are bleeding and inflamed. The cure is as simple as improving your oral hygiene. Thus, while early stages of gum problems may not be serious, they need to be taken seriously and acted on, or they will lead to Periodontitis, an advanced gum problems, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
What’s the best way to keep gum problems at bay?
- Rinse with Listerine® mouthwash twice daily
- Stick to gentle, twice-daily brushing with a soft bristle or electric brush
- Floss once daily
- Also be sure to schedule regular dentist visits for plaque and tartar removal