fbpx

Bleeding Gums

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Dental Symptom Checker
  4.  » 
  5. Gums Problems
  6.  » Bleeding Gums

Are your gums red and puffy? Do they bleed when you floss or brush?

Redness, puffiness, and bleeding gums are all signs of gums inflammation resulting from gum infections.

red and puffy gums

Gingivitis? Gum disease? What does it mean and why does it matter?

When bacteria get under gums and around the teeth, they cause the irritation and inflammation that dentists call gingivitis. What starts as gingivitis, eventually progresses to bleeding gums and then to full blown gum disease and bone infections (what dentists call periodontitis). Fortunately, gingivitis is completely preventable! All it requires is keeping bacteria from taking up residence under the gums. The solution is as simple as daily brushing & flossing and regular dental cleanings. However, many people don’t take these solutions seriously because they don?t realize how quickly bacteria can multiply causing gingivitis and then gum disease. These serious infections are the main cause of tooth loss. (Read more about Bleeding Gums as a symptom of Gum Disease.)

bleeding gums - gingivitis and periodontitis

bleeding gums – gingivitis and periodontitis

Will a dental cleaning fix red and puffy gums?

Yes and no. Getting the correct kind of cleaning cures gingivitis. There are five types of dental cleanings and an every-6-months regular preventative cleaning will not cure widespread gingivitis. Why? Preventative dental cleanings are 30-45 minutes of plaque, tartar and bacteria removal off the teeth and above the gums. This is the amount of time that it takes to adequately clean healthy gums and teeth. If you have gingivitis, it is going to require additional time, tools and techniques to treat the active infection and remove the additional build up UNDER the gums. To treat gingivitis effectively, a hygienist needs to perform a thorough cleaning therapy, sometimes even requiring 2 separate visits several weeks apart, using ultrasonic cleaning instruments as well as antibiotics and laser therapy. Why two visits? When the gums are bleeding, it is nearly impossible to adequately access all of the infected areas during the first visit. Once the bulk of the bacteria and buildup has been removed, the gum tissue responds and shrinks, allowing the hygienist to observe any areas needing additional attention during the second visit. Gingivitis therapy cures the infection giving the gums a clean, new start.

Gingivitis Therapy available at Alamo Dental Health in San Antonio.

Gingivitis Therapy available at Alamo Dental Health in San Antonio.

Bleeding gums disease, can it be cured?

Untreated bleeding gums becomes gum disease, which is a much more serious infection. Why is it so serious? Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a dangerous infection because the first thing it does is alter the structure of the gums and then the bone. While the body’s immune system is trying to fight off this infection, the gum tissue and bone become like civilian casualties. These important tissues get caught in the middle of the battle between the invading bacteria and and the immune system and are destroyed, leaving behind deep empty spaces where bacteria can hide and multiply.

Because of the way that gum disease alters gums and bone, once a person has gum disease they have it for their whole life. The infection that causes red puffy gums can be controlled and managed but it cannot be completely eliminated. Treating gum disease requires a special kind of cleaning called ‘deep cleaning’ or ‘root planing and scaling‘ that cleans the tooth surface down to the bone level. It also requires antibiotic therapy and laser treatment to help the body fight off the bacteria without continuing to damage bone and gums. This is very important because as bone is damaged, it dissolves away and leaves the teeth hanging with no support. In advanced, uncontrolled gum disease, bone dissolves until teeth are loose and fall out. Managing gum disease requires more frequent cleanings every 90 days as well as faithful brushing and flossing at home to keep the infection under control and to prevent it from ruining the jaw bone.

Bleeding gums disease leads to gum disease

Bleeding gums disease leads to gum disease

Bleeding gums - advanced gingivites

Bleeding gums – advanced gingivites

Bleeding Gums – not a big deal? Until It IS a Big Deal!

Because it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t always affect the whole mouth at once, people often feel like gingivitis is not a big deal. They can’t understand why a ‘regular cleaning‘ won’t solve their problem. I just want a regular cleaning is something we hear all the time from people with active gingivitis. For a second, let’s forget we’re talking about teeth and let’s talk about cars. If you have a commuter car and you wash it regularly, it’s never going to need more than the basic wash to get clean, right? Now imagine what it would take to clean your car if you only washed it once every year or two. Cleaning off a year’s worth of dust, Texan bugs, oil slick and pollen is going to require some special tools and techniques. That’s how it works in your mouth too. Imagine the difference between cleaning out basic build up and bacteria compared to removing over a year’s worth of leftover food which has now hardened (called calcification or calculus or tartar) onto the teeth and has provided a constant source of bacteria which are attacking your body 24/7. No wonder gums get irritated and red. If your gums are all red and puffy and someone tells you that all you need is a regular cleaning, be warned: Anyone who says that a basic car wash is going to clean off a year’s worth of dead Texan bugs is lying. Don’t be fooled. It doesn’t work for cars and it won’t work for teeth.

gingivitis and bleeding gums

Click below to learn more about how we stop gingivitis in its tracks!

Cleanings

Dental Cleanings: Keeping Your Teeth in Your Smile

Most of us know that dental cleanings are important, but not everyone knows why.

Periodontal Dentistry

The Bad News: Periodontal Disease Is Incurable

What if we told you that nearly half of adult Americans had an incurable disease?

Our Happy Clients

Knowledgeable and Nice People

I'd like to recommend Dr. John Bec and his entire staff for one of the best patient experiences that I've ever had. I was in for an emergency with an acute pain on my teeth and they treated me immediately. I was also impressed with the systematization of their processes, which I'm sure, contributed to the excellent service. 2 thumbs up for these knowledgeable and nice people!

Maria B.

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-02-06T21:53:59-06:00

Maria B.

I'd like to recommend Dr. John Bec and his entire staff for one of the best patient experiences that I've ever had. I was in for an emergency with an acute pain on my teeth and they treated me immediately. I was also impressed with the systematization of their processes, which I'm sure, contributed to the excellent service. 2 thumbs up for these knowledgeable and nice people!

They Truly Care

Dr Bec truly cares about his patients. I am treated like family, which is something you do not experience much anymore. I would never consider going anywhere else.

Steve A.

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:15:23-05:00

Steve A.

Dr Bec truly cares about his patients. I am treated like family, which is something you do not experience much anymore. I would never consider going anywhere else.

Straightforward and Knowledgable

Dr. Bec was very friendly and answered all my questions in a straightforward manner, so it was one of the few times I didn't feel awkward about asking about my dental concerns. The staff was very friendly also.
I would highly recommend giving this place a try if you are on the hunt (like I was) for a new dentist.

Janessa Z.

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:26:12-05:00

Janessa Z.

Dr. Bec was very friendly and answered all my questions in a straightforward manner, so it was one of the few times I didn't feel awkward about asking about my dental concerns. The staff was very friendly also. I would highly recommend giving this place a try if you are on the hunt (like I was) for a new dentist.

Friendly and Caring

Dr. Bec and everyone else at this office are both friendly and caring! I had major problems and required my upper teeth to be pulled and implants to be installed along with an attached upper denture to be fitted. It was quite a process and they took care of me from beginning to end with no complaints from me! They were incredible and I have nothing but good things to say about all of them! Dr Bec will be my dentist for life! Thank you all very much for the smile you gave back to me!

David M.

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:22:26-05:00

David M.

Dr. Bec and everyone else at this office are both friendly and caring! I had major problems and required my upper teeth to be pulled and implants to be installed along with an attached upper denture to be fitted. It was quite a process and they took care of me from beginning to end with no complaints from me! They were incredible and I have nothing but good things to say about all of them! Dr Bec will be my dentist for life! Thank you all very much for the smile you gave back to me!

High Level of Care

I came to Alamo Dental Health because of Groupon but will be making them "my dentist" because of the level of care. The doctor and staff were thorough and professional; I felt they cared for me as a person and a patient. After dentist hopping for the last two years I am glad to have found Alamo Dental Health. I highly recommend them!

Missy H.

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:23:06-05:00

Missy H.

I came to Alamo Dental Health because of Groupon but will be making them "my dentist" because of the level of care. The doctor and staff were thorough and professional; I felt they cared for me as a person and a patient. After dentist hopping for the last two years I am glad to have found Alamo Dental Health. I highly recommend them!

Enjoyable Experience

My first time to have dental work done outside of a traditional cleaning. Dr. Beck's professionalism and expertise made it a very enjoyable experience. His front desk staff is always welcoming to each patient. I highly recommend for all dental necessities.

Dr. B Pounds

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:25:28-05:00

Dr. B Pounds

My first time to have dental work done outside of a traditional cleaning. Dr. Beck's professionalism and expertise made it a very enjoyable experience. His front desk staff is always welcoming to each patient. I highly recommend for all dental necessities.

Extremely Professional

Had both upper and lower all-on-4 fixtures done. Dr. Bec and his staff are extremely professional and friendly. Best dental experience I've ever had and worth every penny.

Allen

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:19:28-05:00

Allen

Had both upper and lower all-on-4 fixtures done. Dr. Bec and his staff are extremely professional and friendly. Best dental experience I've ever had and worth every penny.

Great Staff

Great staff, and the dentist was nice and thorough. They also have modern equipment and technique. Great experience for my first visit.

Michael P.

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:23:39-05:00

Michael P.

Great staff, and the dentist was nice and thorough. They also have modern equipment and technique. Great experience for my first visit.

Extremely Friendly Staff

Extremely friendly staff! I went in for an exam and cleaning. I am very pleased with my experience from start to finish. Liz did the cleaning on my teeth. I have anxiety around cleanings, she made sure I was comfortable the entire time. She kept a conversation going, it completely eased my anxiety. Thank you!

Jamie J.

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:20:09-05:00

Jamie J.

Extremely friendly staff! I went in for an exam and cleaning. I am very pleased with my experience from start to finish. Liz did the cleaning on my teeth. I have anxiety around cleanings, she made sure I was comfortable the entire time. She kept a conversation going, it completely eased my anxiety. Thank you!

Staff is Awesome

Staff is awesome! Dr. Bec is a NERD!! In a good way of course, as you would want all your doctors to be. Everyone who works here is so friendly and are very patient in answering my 1000 questions. I'm looking forward to seeing my new and improved smile at the end of my treatment :)

Jazz C.

Alamo Dental Health
5
2019-03-19T19:28:22-05:00

Jazz C.

Staff is awesome! Dr. Bec is a NERD!! In a good way of course, as you would want all your doctors to be. Everyone who works here is so friendly and are very patient in answering my 1000 questions. I'm looking forward to seeing my new and improved smile at the end of my treatment :)
5
10
Alamo Dental Health