If you have ever noticed that your gums bleed easily when you floss, or the appearance of your gums seems swollen and red, you probably have gum disease, which is a severe condition that must be addressed by a skilled dentist. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line, which can worsen, ultimately affecting the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. There are three stages of gum disease that exist: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Generally, most cases of gum disease are caused by poor dental care, though there are other contributing factors, including pregnancy, puberty, menopause, smoking, and diabetes. When plaque forms on your teeth and hardens, it turns into tartar, initiating the early stage of gum disease. Tartar, also known as calculus, cannot be removed by flossing or brushing your teeth. To remove it, a dental professional will have to perform a thorough dental cleaning. The good news is that having a dental professional clean and scale your teeth can cure gingivitis. It is important that you continue to keep your teeth and gums free of tartar, however, by brushing twice daily, flossing at least once a day, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash after brushing.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
One of the first signs of gum disease is blood on your toothbrush or in the sink when you brush your teeth. Your gums might also appear noticeably red and less firm. Of course, the best way to know for sure if you are suffering from gum disease is to schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment. Below are some of the most common signs and symptoms of gum disease:
- Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
- Swollen, red, tender gums
- A receding gum line
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Sharp or dull pain that occurs when you chew food
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
Bleeding gums are not always caused by gum disease. It can be caused by certain medications, a change in your flossing routine, or even a new toothbrush that is too firm. The most accurate way to know for sure if you have gum disease is to simply see a dentist.
Treatment and Prevention
Scheduling regular dental visits twice a year can help treat the problem before it progresses into a much more serious condition that requires more extensive treatment. Of course, the best line of defense you have against developing gum disease is properly caring for your mouth. Brushing with an antibacterial toothpaste, flossing, and using mouth rinse can kill bacteria and help prevent gum disease.
If you develop a more advanced stage of gum disease, it can still be treated, though it will be much more intensive than the treatment you receive for gingivitis. Scaling and root planning will need to be performed to address the infection. However, at Bleu Dentistry, we use laser technology to kill the bacteria that live under the gums, sparing you with the discomfort of enduring painful deep cleanings.
Dental Services in Dallas
Gum disease is an incredibly common problem for many, but thankfully new breakthroughs in treatment exist that can effectively address this issue without having to endure more aggressive methods. At Blue Dentistry, we use laser therapy that does not require a general anesthetic and can target gum disease accurately, causing very minimal pain, bleeding, and swelling. If you are suffering from gum disease, or are unsure, visit us today to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment.