It’s natural to worry if your child spits blood while brushing. If your child has bleeding gums, it’s essential you take him or her to see a dentist as soon as possible. The most common cause of bleeding gums is gum disease (gingivitis). Gingivitis is a time-sensitive disease that is best treated early.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can progress to periodontitis, a severe type of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.
Gingivitis starts with plaque-forming bacteria in the mouth. In the absence of proper dental hygiene, plaque can harden into tartar. Tartar buildup leads to gingivitis.
The best way to protect against gingivitis is to develop and maintain healthy habits, like regular brushing and flossing, and routine check-ups with a dentist.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
The most effective treatment for gum disease is a procedure called scaling and root planing. During scaling and planing, the dentist scales the plaque, harmful bacteria, and tartar above and below the gumline. Once they’ve scaled the teeth and root surfaces, the dentist planes the root so that it’s too smooth for tartar, bacteria, and plaque to re-adhere, allowing the gums plenty of time to reattach.
In some cases, the dentist will require a follow-up to check on healing. Severe cases may demand more than one round of treatment. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, “The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease.”
Gingivitis treatment is no substitute for healthy hygiene habits. Good daily hygiene is essential in preventing gingivitis from getting worse or coming back after treatment. Your dentist may recommend routine maintenance visits to supplement your at-home oral care habits.
Gum disease is a condition that, if left untreated, only gets worse with time. Don’t wait it out. If your child is experiencing any symptoms that could indicate gingivitis, schedule an appointment with a Kool Smiles Kids Club partner dentists.