The gums are attached to the teeth at the junction of crown and root. There is a small gap in between the tip of the gums and tooth surface. It is around 1-3 mm and is normal. The problem begins when you don’t maintain the teeth and gums appropriately. There will be accumulation of small food debris, bacteria. The constant deposition of foreign materials leads to irritation of gums. The inflammation of gums is called gingivitis.
There are 4 signs of inflammation of gums – redness, heat production, pain, swelling and loss of function.
There are various stages of gingivitis:
1.Early stage: mild swollen appearance of gums at the margins
2.Mild stage: reddish appearance of gums
3.Moderate stage: bleeding from gums on provocation with brush or hard food
4.Severe stage: spontaneous bleeding from gums and swelling in the gums
5.Very severe stage: swelling and bleeding accompanied by loss of the level of gum tissue.
The bleeding can occur on brushing, eating hard food or spontaneously.
The gingivitis is followed by periodontitis. The periodontium is the next layer to get infected after gingivitis.
There are various stages of periodontitis:
1.Mild periodontitis – Loss of gum and exposure of tooth surface
2.Moderate periodontitis – Loss of gum, exposure of tooth root, development of slight loosening of tooth
3.Severe periodontitis – Loss of gum, exposure of tooth root, considerable movement of teeth
4.Very severe periodontitis – All the above features along with pus discharge from the tooth sulcus.
What are the causes of gum bleeding
1.Poor oral hygiene
2.Some medical conditions like cancer, uncontrollable diabetes show bleeding gums even for less amount of deposits
3.It’s normal to have bleeding gums during pregnancy and early puberty. It resolves by meticulous oral hygiene practices and with time.
4.New toothbrush – can cause trauma to the gums and cause bleeding.
5.New flossing techniques – can cause bleeding due to trauma
6.Pregnancy gingivitis – In the gestation period of 9months there is bleeding from gums even when less amounts of deposits are present. It resolves after delivery.
7.Puberty gingivitis – It occurs during the first few months of puberty due to hormonal changes. It resolves on maintaining good oral hygiene and after few months of puberty.
8.Other causes – Vitamin C deficiency, Vitamin K deficiency, blood cancers
What are the bleeding gums symptoms?
You may have any one or all of the features of gum infection. Bleeding from gums on brushing, bleeding from gums on eating hard food, bad breath, red coloured gums, loosening of teeth, food getting lodged in between teeth and gums, dull itchy sensation in all the gums, sensitivity of teeth.
In Cases of severe gum infections – tooth loosen, pus discharge occurs from gums.
How does your dentist diagnose?
Based on the history and symptoms, your dentist will correlate with the appearance of gums. Your dentist uses special instrument called as william’s probe to measure the level of infection in the gums. X-rays will help a lot to know the impact of gum infection on the tooth and surrounding bone.
Complications of gum infection:
- Loss of tooth
- Discomfort on eating
- Pus discharge from gums
How are the gum bleeding treatments available
Your dentist will categorise the severity of the gum bleeding. The treatment would vary from patient to patient. They can include
- Cleaning of teeth
The removal of deposits, bacteria, food debris and irritating factors primarily reduce the stimulus for the inflammation to occur. It show immediate relief in few days.
- Deep cleaning
In severe cases, the entire depth must be cleaned and debridement has to be done.
- Scaling and curettage
- Flap surgery
The gums are affected and periodontium is involved. Then the minor surgery of gums will help in restoring the height of gums and the food deposition decreases.
- Laser treatment to gums
It is the recent advancement which helps in treating the gums without blade and in a painless manner. Though it is expensive it has similar results with lot of comfort to the patient.
- Medication for symptomatic and temporary relief
The mouthrinses can be prescribed for maintenance of gums. In Case of infection of gums, the antibiotics are given for quicker healing of gums.
- If there is a presence of medical condition, it must be treated
- In case of pregnancy gingivitis – it resolves after delivery
- In case of puberty gingivitis – after few months of puberty, with the help of oral hygiene practises. It resolves.