Bleeding gums are a danger signal

Healthy gums do not bleed, even when you are eating an apple, brushing your teeth – or when the dentist is working in your mouth.

Useful helpers - Healthy gums do not bleed, even when you are eating an apple, brushing your teeth – or when the dentist is working in your mouth.

Sometimes there are traces of red when biting into an apple. Others discover blood when spitting after brushing their teeth. No matter how bleeding gums are noticed: this is a warning sign, indicating a gum inflammation (gingivitis) or an inflammation of the periodontium (periodontitis). At worst, tooth loss is the outcome.

Healthy gums do not bleed. They are pale pink firm and have a corrugated profile. Diseased inflamed gums however are dark red, soft and sensitive. They bleed easily and smell unpleasant.

Useful helpers - Cause: poor oral hygiene

Cause: poor oral hygiene

The main cause of this inflammation and accompanying bleeding gums is poor oral hygiene. Bacterial plaque forms on teeth that are poorly brushed or not brushed at all. The groove between the teeth and gums (sulcus) is particularly at risk.

The bacteria in plaque excrete harmful metabolic products called endotoxins that trigger an immune response in the immune system. This immune response in turn triggers inflammation,which - although the bacteria are destroyed -leads to receding gums. If the infection remains untreated, it attacks the periodontium and finally the jawbone.

In addition to poor oral hygiene, the risk factors for the development of bleeding gums, gingivitis and periodontal disease are smoking, diabetes mellitus, hormonal changes during pregnancy or prolonged breathing through the mouth.

Useful helpers - Better brushing

Better brushing

Occasional bleeding around individual teeth is often an indication that you should be cleaning your teeth better On no account should you stop brushing to prevent bleeding as a gum infection will only get worse. The plaque must be removed, otherwise the gums will not heal - and that is only possible with a toothbrush and other oral hygiene cleaning aids.

Bleeding can even be a sign of healing: for example, when using interdental brushes for the first time to clean between teeth, you will perhaps experience a small amount of bleeding. This indicates inflammation, and bleeding should not reoccur after one week: by cleaning between the teeth every day, the inflammation should have subsided and the risk of periodontal disease averted. If not then you should really seek advice from a dental professional.