Do your gums bleed when brushing or flossing? Gum disease-symptoms, treatment & prevention

Gum disease is one of the most widespread oral diseases in Canada and involves a spectrum of infections from very light to advanced. Here are some facts about gum disease- the different categories, symptoms, methods of prevention and cure.


In the early stages of gum disease, known as Gingivitis, bacteria from food, plaque etc. build up inside the mouth and cause inflammation of the gums. At this stage, infection is restricted to the gums. In the absence of good oral hygiene, bacteria remain in the mouth leading to a variety of infections including gingivitis.

Symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding when brushing / flossing, swelling & redness of gums, bad breath and is often painful. However, this condition is reversible. Regularly practicing appropriate oral hygiene (brushing, flossing and oral rinses) help in plaque removal leading to the elimination of gingivitis.


When left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into a condition known as Periodontitis. This affects the bone structure supporting the teeth. At this stage, the bone structure below the gum line starts to dissolve. The resulting recession of the gum line causes the teeth to become longer in appearance. While, the damage to the bone is irreversible, timely treatment can strengthen the bone and prevent further damage. In addition to proper home hygiene, appropriate therapy by dental specialists would be required, such as cleaning of the gum line (and below the gum line) to remove bacteria and tartar. Unlike gingivitis, this infection is often painless.

Sometimes, progression of periodontitis may be influenced by health issues such as immune deficiencies of uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions because of their impact on the immune system.

In advanced stages of periodontitis, extensive loss of bone structure causes the teeth to loosen leading to removal or loss of teeth. Therefore, it is imperative that gum disease is diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Best Practices

Good home hygiene is a necessary factor to avoid bacterial infections such as gum disease. A healthy oral hygiene involves brushing twice a day, flossing and using oral rinse. As the state of oral health may vary from person to person, it is important that a customized oral hygiene regimen is developed in partnership with your dental care provider to ensure optimal benefit.

Regular visits to your dentist can help early detection of infections and through proper therapy, further deterioration is prevented. A professional cleaning is recommended every 3 months to avoid the build up of bacteria and stop bacterial infections from advancing.

Here, at Desired Smiles Family Dentistry, we do more than treating our clients, we care for you. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.


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