The red flags for bleeding gums

The main concern about gum disease is that many people are not aware that they have it, writes Dr Keerthilatha M Pai

health

Gum-related issues occur when good oral hygiene is not maintained. This leads to plaque build-up, which is a thin sticky layer of bacteria that accumulates on the teeth. Over time, if not taken care of, plaque will eventually irritate your gums causing redness with bleeding, swelling, and soreness. If the condition worsens, then the gums tend to move away from the teeth, opening gaps and putting your teeth at greater risk for infection.

Yet, many people choose to ignore bleeding gums when they brush and floss, or even while eating, thinking it is a normal, common occurrence. The main concern about gum disease is that many people are not aware that they have it.

Myth 1: There is a common belief that bleeding gums are a part of everyday life and can be ignored.

Reality: If you notice bleeding from your gums , it is best to consult your dentist to determine the cause. The good news is that, most of the time, it is easily preventable and can be avoided through sound oral hygiene measures, coupled with regular dental check-ups.

Myth 2: Gum disease occurs to those who have cavities and follow a poor oral hygiene routine.

Reality: The reality is that people of any age group can experience gum bleeding. Gum disease affects many people all over the world, with around 50% of adults experiencing gingivitis during their life.

Myth 3: Brushing too hard can cause bleeding in the gums.

Reality: Brushing too hard can cause bleeding gums, but this could also be a sign of gum disease (gingivitis). It is also recommended to change your toothbrush every three months.

Myth 4: Do gums grow back after receding?

Reality: While receding gums don’t grow back on their own, you can talk to your dentist about the treatments available to correct the issue.

 (The author is dean, oral medicine & radiology, MAHE)

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