Bleeding Gums a Sign of Gum Disease, With Hygienist Kaeli Kesterson, Mid Wilshire Dentistry, Los Angeles, California
When patients complain about bleeding gums, it's because they most likely have gingivitis, or worse, periodontal disease, says Kaeli Kesterson, a hygienist with Mid Wilshire Dentistry in Los Angeles, California. She says they're probably much overdue for a professional cleaning and probably haven't been flossing daily or brushing properly.
A good professional cleaning will remove plaque and tartar from the tooth structure and get one back on good oral care, with regular flossing and brushing. Most patients are neglectful, says Kesterson, as most don't have dental insurance, so she recommends cleanings every 6 months and for those with less-healthy gums, every 3-4 months. Children also should be seen every 6 months, as there's so much going on with tooth loss, getting new teeth and they really need to be good with their homecare as well, she adds.
Mouthwash can be very effective, especially the alcohol-free varieties, because they kill the bacteria that causes the inflammation of gums and bleeding, says Kesterson.