Don’t ignore bleeding gums
One common and dangerous myth when it comes to oral health is that it’s normal for gums to bleed sometimes during regular brushing and flossing – this is FALSE. Your gums should never bleed, and if they do, it means you have gingivitis, or early stage gum disease. The good news is if we catch it in the early stage, we can likely treat and reverse the problem before it progresses into a more serious issue.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a common and serious infection of the gums that can devastate your oral and overall health. It’s estimated that over half of the American adult population has some form of gum disease, while many cases remain undiagnosed. Gum disease is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, and left untreated can lead to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration, and can also be a risk factor for heart and lung diseases.
What does gum disease look like?
- Poor oral hygiene habits cause an excess of plaque buildup on teeth and along the gum line, which eventually hardens into tartar.
- Your gums may become swollen, red, tender, and bleed easily.
- Tartar irritates the gums to the point where they begin to pull away from the teeth, or recede.
- Deep pockets form between the gums and teeth, which become a breeding ground for the infection to fester.
- Eventually the tissue is so damaged that the teeth begin to loosen and fall out.
- The jawbone will begin to deteriorate or atrophy.
- The infection travels from your mouth and into the rest of the body and internal organs, increasing your risk for serious health complications like heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
How is gum disease treated?
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs and symptoms, or have been diagnosed and are seeking treatment, we would love to help you get your gum disease under control at Spring Creek Dentistry. If you are in the early stages of gum disease, we may be able to reverse it with some simple oral hygiene and nutrition adjustments.
However, if your gingivitis has advanced into periodontitis, or advanced gum disease, you may require what we call scaling and root planing. We will go in and remove the infection and sterilize the pockets, and reattach the gums to the teeth.
If you have any questions about gum disease, or would like to schedule a consultation with your Spring dentist – Dr. Oakley, Dr. Henley, Dr. Miller, or Dr. Wendt – please contact us at Spring Creek Dentistry today at (281) 407-8333.