Periodontal, or gum, disease often goes undetected and undiagnosed if you are not visiting the dentist regularly. Unfortunately, most patients do not realize they have gum disease until it has advanced and begun to cause noticeable damage or symptoms. This can often result in the need for extensive treatment in order to restore dental health and may also have an affect on overall health and well being. Untreated periodontal disease can even progress and cause tooth loss.
Despite what some people think, a little blood in the sink after brushing your teeth is not normal. Bleeding gums is actually a common sign of early gum disease, indicating that infection may be present and should be addressed as soon as possible. Dr. Donald Reid offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for the signs and symptoms of gum disease to restore health and prevent further damage to either gum tissue or teeth. The gums support the teeth and poor gum health can lead to loose teeth, shifting teeth and tooth loss.
What Causes Bleeding Gums?
Bleeding when brushing or flossing often indicates that the gums are irritated or inflamed, most likely as a result of plaque building up along the gum line. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further progression of periodontal disease. There are other reasons for bleeding gums, including:
- Pregnancy: increased hormone levels can make the gums sensitive and prone to bleeding during oral hygiene care
- Aggressive tooth brushing: using a hard bristled toothbrush, and/or brushing too hard can cause the gums to bleed
- Medical conditions: certain health issues can lead to sensitive gums that bleed
- Poor nutrition: vitamin deficiencies and nutritional concerns can lead to bleeding gums and periodontal disease.
Treating Gum Disease
Dr. Reid will screen for gum disease during routine preventive care visits, another important reason to visit his Truckee, CA dentist office at least twice a year. He and his staff will provide personalized hygiene advice for keeping your gums healthy between visits to avoid dental problems and enjoy overall better health: periodontal health is linked to your overall well being and has an affect on the severity or incidence of both cardiovascular and systemic disease.
If you have noticed that your gums bleed during routine tooth brushing or eating, mention this during your visits to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment options can include:
- Scaling and root planing – this is usually the first step in treating gum disease. It is essentially a deep cleaning below the gum line to clean out the plaque that has been building up.
- Additional dental visits or anti-bacterial at home products – Dr. Reid will want to see you more than twice a year if you suffer from gum disease. He will prescribe extra products to use at home to help eliminate gum disease.
- Laser dentistry – Sometimes the use of lasers is required to removed inflamed tissue around the the root of the tooth.
Restoring healthy gums is important for preserving the health and integrity of your teeth- gum disease remains a leading cause of tooth loss in adults today.