Swollen, Bleeding Gums (Gingivitis)

Swollen, Bleeding Gums, (Gingivitis)

If you notice bleeding gums after brushing teeth or flossing, you may have gingivitis. Gingivitis or inflammation of the gums is characterized by swollen red gums that have a tendency to bleed on brushing. It is caused by a build-up of plaque and calculus/tartar around the teeth and gums which irritates the surrounding tissues.

The most common reasons why you may get gingivitis from time to time include:

  • Inadequate or infrequent brushing and flossing of your teeth and gums
  • Ill-fitting appliances such as partial dentures
  • Some medications
  • Menstruation and pregnancy
  • Dehydration

The important thing to note about gingivitis (and its distinction from periodontal disease) is that it is a reversible process and its management involves removal of the prime causative agents (i.e. the plaque and calculus).

Your dentist and hygienist play an essential role in the management and prevention of gingivitis. Specialised instruments are used by dentists to remove the plaque and tartar from hard to reach places such as areas below the gums and between the teeth. Calculus/Tartar is the cement-like build that you may feel if you run your tongue along the back of your lower front teeth. It occurs in almost everyone and cannot be removed by you at home so a trip to the hygienist every 6 months is important.

Even more importantly, good dentists or dental hygienist will educate you on how to maintain excellent gums at home which will also prevent other nasty problems such as bad breath and tooth decay.

Call Adelaide Emergency Dental on 0437 733 350 to have your gingivitis assessed, treated and cured.