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 gums. Decaying food between teeth add to the problem, and a bacterial infection sets in. This causes inflammation, gum recession, bad breath, and eventually tooth loss.
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 has 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, doesn’t mean you aren’t susceptible to gum disease. It’s important for you to visit our Kingwood dentist office for regular checkups, and the gum disease detection.
Redness, swelling, and bleeding may be indicators of gum disease. At our Kingwood dentist 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. We can also use scaling and root planing to treat affected tooth surfaces, as well as gum pocket irrigation, and antibiotic therapy to improve areas where there is more advanced gum disease. If symptoms show no improvement, Dr. Mosby can also use surgical methods to treat the infection and restore health to your gums.
Research has linked gum disease to heart disease, diabetes complications, increased risk for a stroke, and low-weight or premature births, so don't disregard 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. For a complete exam, call our Kingwood dental office today. Our practice serves patients throughout the Houston area, including Spring, Humble, and Crosby.