Bleeding Gums Really Are A Big Deal
Here’s the bottom line: your gums shouldn’t bleed. They also shouldn’t be puffy, tender, or dark red, either. Any of those signs are indicators of gum disease which is the number 1 cause of tooth loss in the United States. If you experience any of those indicators of gum disease, call Parkway Dental in Snellville, GA at 770-676-1122 for an appointment.
Those Nasty Bacteria
Everyone has a host of bacteria living in their mouths. In fact, there’s even a name for those colonies of bacteria – the oral microbiome. Most of those bacteria coexist happily with us, but certain types of bacteria can cause problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Those bacteria combine with a protein in saliva to form a thin, sticky film called dental plaque. Plaque forms on the gum line around the teeth and keeps bacteria in close contact with teeth and gums. The bacteria feed on the sugars in our food and beverages, producing acid that attacks tooth enamel and inflames the gums.
In response to the constant irritation from the acids, the gums become swollen, puffy, and tender. They often change color from a healthy pink to dark red or even purple. Your gums may bleed when you brush or floss. This is the first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis.
The good news is that early-stage gum disease can almost always be corrected by a thorough, professional dental cleaning to remove all traces of plaque. However, plaque begins to form again within 24 hours after being removed. Keeping your gums healthy requires regular and thorough brushing and flossing (plaque is soft and easily removed) plus regular cleanings.
If plaque is left undisturbed long enough things begin to get serious.
Tartar Rears Its Head
Plaque will eventually harden into tartar, or dental calculus. Tartar is even harder than your tooth enamel which is the single hardest substance in the body. You can’t possibly brush it away.
Once tartar forms, acid production kicks into overdrive. The gums pull away from the teeth which opens the underlying tissues to infection. Pockets of pus can form below the gum line, resulting in bad breath that nothing seems to help. Over time, the infection can weaken the ligaments that help stabilize teeth and even damage the bone that hold teeth in place.
That’s why gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss, but the problems don’t stop there.
There’s a growing body of research that links long-term gum disease to some really serious health conditions – heart disease, lung disease, poor diabetes control, rheumatoid arthritis, premature birth and low birth weight, and various forms of cancer, among others.
The more advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontal disease, or periodontitis, and it absolutely requires professional treatment.
Parkland Dental Provides Nonsurgical Gum Disease Treatment
The sooner gum disease is treated, the better. However, gum disease can be effectively treated no matter how advanced it might be.
The most common treatments for periodontal disease include dental planing and scaling to remove the hardened tartar below and above the gum line. Laser treatment to clean out pockets of infection, followed by medications to kill any lingering bacteria, is also an option.
Finally, there are rinses that we can provide to help minimize the chance of gum disease developing again.
Don’t Take Chances With Your Gums And Your Teeth
Take action now against gum disease by scheduling a dental cleaning and examination with Parkland Dental in Snellville, GA. Call our office at 770-676-1122 for an appointment.