If your arm or leg started bleeding, you wouldn't ignore it, yet many people don't give their bleeding gums a second thought. Swollen and bleeding gums can indicate gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Gum disease occurs when bacteria-filled plaque hardens into tartar and irritates the gums. Decaying food between teeth adds to the problem and a bacterial infection sets in. This causes inflammation, gum recession, bad breath, and eventually tooth loss. Research has linked gum disease to heart disease, diabetes complications, increased risk for a stroke, and low-weight/premature births, so don’t disregard the warning signs! If we find cause for concern, we may recommend that you change your oral healthcare routine or the products you use at home. We also offer gum disease therapy in our Kingwood dental office.
As many as 8 in 10 people have some form of gum disease and might not even know it. Gum disease is characterized by a chronic bacterial infection of the soft tissue surrounding the teeth. Early stages of gum disease cause little to no discomfort and have very few symptoms noticeable by anyone other than the dentist. If left untreated, gum disease can spread quickly and attack gums, teeth, and all supporting structures such as bone and ligaments.
If you smoke, use smokeless tobacco, or are prone to hormone fluctuations, you might be at greater risk for gum disease. In addition, patients who have high stress levels, take certain medications, experience teeth grinding, or who have poor oral hygiene will be at a higher risk as well. Just because you don’t fit into a high-risk category, it doesn’t mean you aren’t susceptible to gum disease. It’s important for you to visit our Kingwood dental office for regular checkups and gum disease detection.
Redness, swelling, and bleeding may be indicators of gum disease. At our Kingwood dental office, we can treat and even reverse gum disease. We take a conservative approach using non-surgical therapies first. Routine dental visits and professional cleanings are your first line of defense against the onset of gum disease. We will also instruct you on the most effective brushing and flossing techniques for at-home care
Scaling & root planing is a type of dental cleaning that’s used to remove the tartar deposits that are the root cause of gum disease. Once the roots of the teeth have been cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler, they are gently reshaped and smoothed out. This encourages faster healing and also makes it more difficult for plaque and tartar to build up near the gums again in the future, protecting a patient from reinfection.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, and symptoms include red, swollen, or tender gums that bleed easily during oral hygiene. If we determine that a patient has gingivitis, we’ll perform a dental cleaning, and then we’ll send them home with a prescription mouthwash to use daily for a few weeks. The patient will then return to our dental office so we can reevaluate the health of their gums and mouth. If the infection is still present, then we may recommend a more thorough cleaning such as scaling & root planing.
If you haven’t been to the dentist for a very long time, you may have a lot of built up plaque and tartar in your mouth, so much so that it’s difficult for Dr. Mosby to get a good look at your teeth and the nearby bone to determine whether or not they are healthy. A full mouth debridement is a preliminary cleaning used to eliminate these deposits so Dr. Mosby can effectively perform an oral exam at a follow-up appointment and accurately assess a patient’s oral health.