For the third time this week, your teeth have been bleeding while you brush them. You are starting to get concerned. Should you contact your dentist? Why are your gums bleeding if your teeth don’t hurt? Why do they look swollen? These are great questions, and it’s actually an excellent time to contact your dentist, as you may be experiencing the first stages of periodontal (gum) disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Essentially an infection of the bone and soft tissues that support your teeth, periodontal disease is often tricky to diagnose on your own. There aren’t many signs at first, and you probably won’t experience any pain in the beginning.
Gum disease is caused by excessive plaque buildup that gets below the gum line and causes the infection. Gums that appear red and swollen, bleed during brushing, and chronic bad breath are all beginning signs of periodontal disease. This is the time to schedule a cleaning and checkup with your dentist.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, in which you’ll begin to notice the symptoms we discussed. This stage can usually be managed with improvements to your home care routine, and a thorough professional cleaning. Many patients are even able to reverse their gingivitis by being proactive about their oral health.
Periodontitis is the later, more advanced stage of gum disease. This stage may require:
- A deep cleaning called scaling and root planing to remove the excess plaque and tartar buildup
- Antibiotic therapy
- Laser treatment
- Surgery in severe cases
If you’re suffering from periodontitis, you may notice that your gums are receding, or your teeth are feeling mobile.
What if Gum Disease is Left Untreated?
Periodontal disease that is not treated can result in tooth loss, as the infection is destroying your main support system for your teeth. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
Did you know that you can avoid gum disease with your routine cleanings and checkup appointments every six months? Your dentist will screen you for gum disease and other issues including oral cancer, tooth decay, and cavities at every checkup. This is your first line of defense in preventing these conditions from happening in the first place.
Gum disease has also been linked with other health concerns in the body such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Your health is too important to risk, don’t let signs of gum disease go unchecked.
About Distinguished Dental
For over a decade, Dr. Sheri McIntosh has been providing high quality dental care to patients in different cities and communities in Texas. Her approach is simple; she and her team strive to offer the highest level of clinical care in a warm and friendly environment. At her practice, this is known as the Distinguished Patient Experience.
Dr. McIntosh uses state-of-the-art technology such as a dental laser to help patients successfully manage periodontal disease. If you’d have questions about gum disease or treating it, you can reach Dr. McIntosh through her website or at 817-337-8300.