Bleeding gums are usually the first sign of gum disease, a common oral condition, which can become very serious if left untreated. If you are eager to keep disease at bay or you have signs of gum disease, there are various things you can do to try and reduce the risk of it developing. These include arranging to see your dentist, practising good oral hygiene, seeing a dental hygienist, focusing on your diet and giving up smoking. The earlier gum disease is diagnosed, the better, as mild gum disease is easily treated, so seeing a dentist is really important if you notice bleeding when you brush your teeth or your teeth are swollen or painful. It’s important not to wait around and hope it will get better, as the likelihood is that the opposite will happen. Oral hygiene is really important when it comes to gum disease and often, good oral hygiene is sufficient to revere the effects of gingivitis, the mild form of gum disease. A good oral hygiene regime should include rushing twice a day and flossing. If you’re prone to gum disease or you have symptoms, seeing a dental hygienist is hugely beneficial; hygienists provide powerful cleaning treatments, which rid the mouth from bacteria and help to keep the mouth as clean as possible. In addition to seeking dental help, there are also things you can do at home to try and protect your teeth and gums. Your diet is really important, as some foods increase the risk of damage to the teeth and gums; these include foods and drinks that contain a lot of sugar and acidic foods and beverages. Smoking is also another unhealthy lifestyle choice, as it increases the risk of gum disease by reducing blood flow to the gums; it also slows the body’s healing processes down, stains the teeth and causes bad breath. If you need help with giving up smoking or you have questions about oral hygiene or diet, we will be happy to help and offer advice.