Do your gums bleed when brushing or flossing your teeth daily? Are they red, swollen or increasingly sensitive?
These can be the common early warning signs of developing gum disease known as gingivitis. Bel Air dentist Dr. Melissa Elliott offers both diagnosis and treatment for periodontal disease and can help you restore healthy gums with appropriate treatment. We will assess the stage and severity of your gum disease and provide personalized care and advice aimed at both restoring and maintaining your gum health.
Why Treat Bleeding Gums?
As an indication of gum disease, treating bleeding gums can prevent more complex problems as periodontal disease advances unchecked. Gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss in adults, can lead to permanent damage of both teeth and gums. As infection progresses, gum tissue becomes compromised and can pull away from the tooth roots, exposing what are known as “deep pockets”.
This not only weakens the support system for healthy teeth, but allows harmful bacteria to pas into the bloodstream and elevate your risk for systemic related health concerns as a result of increased internal inflammation. Patients with poor periodontal health are also at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
If you have heart disease, high blood pressure or a systemic related disorder such as diabetes, poor gum health can affect symptoms and even make your disease difficult to manage. It is also important to note that certain types of medications prescribed to treat these and other health conditions can increase your risk of developing gum disease. Discussing your medical history and lifestyle habits is important in the maintenance of a healthy smile.
Gum Disease Treatments
Dr. Elliott offers the treatment options necessary to address gum disease and help you enjoy a lasting, healthy smile. Your treatment will depend on the stage and severity of your periodontal disease and will be tailored to your unique needs. Treatment options can include:
- Antibacterial rinses: used as part of your at home oral hygiene routine, antibacterial rinses may be recommended for early stage gingivitis and for patients with chronic gum disease.
- Scaling and root planing: a thorough and intense cleaning procedure, scaling and root planing can remove plaque built up along tooth roots and the gum line to allow tissue to heal.
- Oral surgery: in advanced cases, or periodontitis, Dr. Elliott may coordinate treatment with a local specialist to ensure the best result and restore healthy gums.
To prevent your gums from bleeding, being committed to a strict oral hygiene routine is a must. This include brushing and flossing your teeth daily to remove bacteria causing plaque from teeth and gums. Also, you should visit Dr. Elliott at least every six months for an exam and a professional dental cleaning. These cleanings are important because they remove plaque and tartar from difficult to reach places where your toothbrush cannot reach.
Bleeding Gums FAQs
What Causes Bleeding Gums?
Bleeding gums is the most common sign of gingivitis and gum disease, although there may be other causes of bleeding gums. Bleeding gums may be the result of aggressive flossing, tooth brushing, or using a toothbrush with too firm of bristles. Daily care is extremely important, but use caution around the sensitive gum tissue to prevent bleeding gums. Certain medications can also compromise your gum health. One thing to keep in mind is that bleeding gums are not normal.
Will pregnancy cause gums to bleed?
Yes, hormonal changes taking place in the body during pregnancy can cause bleeding gums. It is a common symptom of pregnancy. Pregnant women should continue to brush and floss, but be extra cautious around sensitive gum tissue to prevent bleeding. It is important to maintain routine visits to the dentist during pregnancy to monitor gum health.
What is gum disease?
In essence, gum disease is an inflammation of the gums cause by a bacterial infection. Gum disease may affect one or more teeth as well as the surrounding gum tissue and supporting bone. Gum disease occurs when dental health is neglected over time, so just because you have bleeding gums does not mean you have gum disease.
Schedule a Dental Exam Today
If you are searching for a dentist that treats bleeding gums near Bel Air, MD and Fallston, MD, contact Harford County Dentistry. Call 410-994-2627 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elliott or request an appointment online.