Bleeding gums can occur after vigorous brushing. Although many people consider bleeding gums or sore swollen gums as normal, it can actually be a sign that you are at risk of, or already have gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis).Seeking dental treatment for bleeding gums or sore swollen gums early can help save teeth that are at risk of gingivitis or periodontitis.
[su_spoiler title=”What is gum disease?” style=”fancy”]
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums which has spread to the bone and supporting structures around a tooth.
Gum disease causes:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding of your gums
- Shrinkage of your gums
- Sensitivity to cold and hot things
- Lessening and loss of teeth
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[su_spoiler title=”What causes bleeding gums?” style=”fancy”]
Bleeding gums are caused by inadequate plaque removal from the gum line of the teeth. Plaque is made up of bacteria, mucus and food debris that builds up on exposed parts of teeth. Without routine removal of this built up plaque, it becomes trapped at the base of the tooth in the form of tartar. This tartar irritates and causes bleeding and swelling of the surrounding gum which is termed as Gingivitis.
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Warning signs of periodontal disease include the following:
- Gums That Are Red, Swollen Or Tender
- Bleeding While Brushing, Flossing, Or Eating Hard Food
- Receding Gum Lines, Causing The Teeth To Look Longer Than Before
- Loose Or Separating Teeth
- Evidence Of Pus Between Your Gums And Teeth
- Persistent Bad Breath
- Sores In Your Mouth
- Change In Your Bite
- Change In The Fit Of Dentures
[su_spoiler title=”What Are My Options, If Any?” style=”fancy”]
There are three main options that your dentist may incorporate in order to reduce inflammation in your gums and lower your chances of gum disease from persisting:
- Scaling And Root Planing
- Occlusal Adjustment
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Scaling is a periodontal procedure that removes plaque from the teeth at and slightly below the gum line. Root planing smoothes root surfaces so that the supportive tissues can reattach to the tooth surface more easily. Often, this will be done with local anesthesia so that you feel nothing as during the procedure.
Antibiotics are an adjunctive option to scaling and root planing that may be provided in either pill form or powder form, which is applied directly to the infected area. You may even be prescribed an antibacterial mouth rinse to help control the harmful effects of and reduce bacterial plaque.
If there is an improper bite or a traumatic occlusion, we may either choose to adjust your bite or construct a custom bite guard in order to protect teeth surfaces and relax tense jaw muscles.
[su_spoiler title=”Monitoring and Supportive therapy at BDC for gum disease” style=”fancy”]
We see the biggest reason for failure of gum treatment being lack of monitoring and supportive therapy. Unfortunately, susceptibility to gum disease is a life-long problem and the research shows that to keep gum disease at bay we there are three important factors:
- Excellent daily plaque control by you.
- Regular monitoring by us or your dentist to check that you are removing all plaque and an assessment of your gums to check that the gum disease is not creeping back anywhere.
- Regular supportive therapy to re-treat any areas where gum disease is beginning to return and to treat it early before it causes serious damage.
[su_spoiler title=”What can gum disease mean for a diabetic?” style=”fancy”]
Gingivitis is an infection within the gums caused by bacteria found in plaque. A diabetic patient’s body does not respond as quickly to the infection as a non-diabetic. If the infection persists, it can spread to the underlying bone that supports and anchors the teeth.
It has been shown that diabetics who keep their condition under control and maintain good oral hygiene have a far better chance of combating infection than those who are poorly controlled.
[su_spoiler title=”What is periodontitis?” style=”fancy”]
Periodontitis is advanced gum disease that can occur if gingivitis is not treated by good dental hygiene and dental procedures.
[su_spoiler title=”How can I recognize Periodontitis?” style=”fancy”]
Periodontitis always begins with inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. This is not always easy to recognize but one of the first signs is bleeding from the gums when you brush your teeth. The gums may look red and swollen and you might notice a discolored layer of bacterial plaque on the teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, often without any obvious changes. However, some changes that you might experience over time include:
- Increased bleeding from the gums, often provoked by brushing or eating
- Bad breath
- Changes in the positioning of the teeth in the jaws
- Lengthening of the teeth (gum recession)
- Pain in the gums or teeth
Bleeding from the gums may be less noticeable in smokers because of the effect of nicotine on blood vessels and so the disease process may be masked.
Often the presence of periodontitis is not recognized by an individual until they are 40 or 50 years of age, by which time a great deal of damage may have occurred.
However a screening appointment at The Bharath Dental Clinic will enable us to detect signs of the disease. We can also monitor your periodontal status using a special assessment tool known as the Periodontal Screening Index.
[su_spoiler title=”How can you prevent periodontitis?” style=”fancy”]
As with gingivitis, the primary way to prevent periodontitis is through good oral hygiene. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day is recommended, with increased regularity if the dentist suggests it. Teeth should be professionally cleaned every six months. If a person has dry mouth, takes blood pressure medicine or smokes, the BDC recommends getting teeth professionally cleaned more often.
[su_spoiler title=”Are special preparations needed before treatment for gum disease?” style=”fancy”]
Your dentist or periodontist can perform most procedures in the office. The time needed to perform the procedures, your degree of discomfort, and time needed to heal vary from patient to patient. Other factors are the type and extent of the procedure and your overall health.Local anesthesia to numb the treatment area may be given before some treatments. If necessary, a medication may be given to help you relax.
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We in BDC perform both non-surgical and surgical treatments for periodontitis, depending on its severity. In some patients, the non-surgical procedure of scaling and root planning is all that is needed to treat gum diseases. Surgery is needed when the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical options.
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- Scaling: The removal of tartar and bacteria from teeth and beneath gums. This is usually done in a standard professional teeth cleaning.
- Root planning: Smoothing the root surfaces to discourage further buildup of tartar and bacterial toxins.
- Antibiotics: May include topical antibiotics like mouth rinses and gels, or oral antibiotics.
[su_spoiler title=”Surgical treatments includes” style=”fancy”]
- Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery: During this procedure, the gums are lifted away from the teeth and tartar is removed around the teeth. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed. This limits the areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide and grow. The chance of serious health problems that can arise from periodontal disease is also reduced.
- Soft tissue grafts: This procedure strengthens thin gums or fills in places where gums have receded (areas where the root of the tooth is exposed). Grafted tissue, most often taken from the roof of the mouth, is then stitched in place.
- Bone grafting: Bone graftsuse fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone, or donated bone. This is done when the bone around the tooth root has been destroyed by the disease and helps prevent loosening of the tooth and tooth loss by holding the tooth in place. It also promotes bone regrowth.
- Guided tissue regeneration: Performed when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed, this procedure stimulates bone and gum tissue growth. Done in combination with flap surgery, a small piece of mesh-like fabric is inserted between the bone and gum tissue. This keeps the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone teeth.
- Bone surgery: Bone surgery smoothes shallow craters in the bone due to moderate and advanced bone loss. Following flap surgery, the bone around the tooth is reshaped to decrease the craters. This makes it harder for bacteria to collect and grow.
[su_spoiler title=”Medications used to treat gum disease” style=”fancy”]
Antibiotics can be used either in combination with surgery and other therapies or alone. Antibiotics reduce or temporarily kill the bacteria of periodontal disease. They also prevent the destruction of the tooth’s attachment to the bone.
[su_spoiler title=”What Can Happen If I Don’t Get It Fixed, Left Untreated?” style=”fancy”]
Some people think periodontal therapy always means surgical treatment. At its early stages, periodontal disease actually responds quite favorably to nonsurgical periodontal therapy. Only in its more advanced stages is surgical intervention necessary. In fact, surgery is reserved for those situations when nonsurgical therapies can no longer achieve the desired outcome of periodontal health.
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Periodontal maintenance is a personalized program developed once periodontal health has been improved for the patient. These appointments tend to occur more often than the traditional six-month cleanings, as they are designed to prevent reoccurring periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases are chronic diseases, just like diabetes, so ongoing treatment is necessary to ensure that periodontal diseases do not recur.
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Schedule an appointment within our office to determine if non-surgical periodontal therapy is right for you.