So, you found blood on your toothbrush this morning. What does that mean?
It means that you probably have the early stages of gum disease, and if that’s the case, you need to get yourself down to us at Meadowbank Dental Practice in Edinburgh so that we can take a look at your gums.
You may think a bit of blood is no big deal and you’ll just brush your teeth for longer and it will go away. And this could well be the case, but gum disease is not something you want to muck about with. In its final stages, your teeth fall out. Yes, they really do.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by the acids given off by plaque. Plaque is that layer of sticky film that builds up on the teeth during the day. It is bacteria that are feeding on the sugar in your saliva and it clings onto the surfaces of your teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue so that it doesn’t get swallowed with your saliva.
As it clings, it gives off acids. As you know, acid is corrosive and it attacks your tooth enamel, creating holes for decay to get in through, and your gums. It irritates and inflames them, making them all red. When you brush them, they bleed. They also pull away from your teeth, creating little pockets for plaque to hide away in, and that’s when the trouble really starts.
Once plaque is under your gums, and they start to recede, the acids given off by the plaque can get to work on corroding your tooth roots and even the jawbone holding your teeth in place.
This is when things start to get painful, as infection can get in. Your teeth can become loose in their sockets and eventually fall out.
While gum disease in its early stages is relatively easy to treat, leave it to its later stages, and it becomes much harder.
Fortunately, periodontics is a branch of dentistry dedicated to gum disease and we use this knowledge to treat you and save your teeth. So, if you suspect there’s something going on with your gums, come in and see us as soon as you can.