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BEYOND BLEEDING GUMS: THE SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE
Inflamed gums (known as gum or periodontal disease) is trouble you probably want to avoid. The two stages of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) both have visible symptoms. Whether you just started to notice that your gums look a bit inflamed or bleed a little after brushing or flossing, you need to see a dentist in Charlotte, NC about periodontal disease. What does periodontal disease look like? Here’s a few of the symptoms that can point to gum problems:
Seeing blood after you floss or brush your teeth is the first sign of gum disease. Even if you are brushing aggressively, you still shouldn’t have bleeding gums. Brushing your teeth too hard is not a good dental habit, especially if you have irritated or inflamed gums, but there is usually an underlying periodontal problem causing your gums to bleed.
CHRONIC BAD BREATH
Halitosis (chronic bad breath) is a symptom of gingivitis. The bacteria living in your gum pockets can cause your breath to smell bad no matter how much you brush.
COLOR CHANGES AND INFLAMMATION
Swelling and a change in the color of your gums are signs of disease. Gums that are purple or dark red, especially if they also bleed, are a critical sign of periodontal disease. Sometimes, gums can change color due to certain lifestyle habits (such as smoking or a poor diet), which increase your risk for oral health problems.
A TOOTHY SMILE
Periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease, causes your gums to rise and show more and more of your tooth. When your gumline pulls away from your teeth, it can cause a lot of damage and discomfort when the tooth root is out in the open. If you look at your smile in the mirror and see too much tooth, this could be a sign you have periodontal disease.
In the more advanced stages of periodontal disease when the roots of your teeth are exposed, you may feel sensitivity when you eat or drink something that’s especially hot, cold, or sweet. This might also be a symptom of having a cavity and should be checked out by your dentist. If the sensitivity is located near the gumline, it is more likely to be caused by periodontal disease.
We hope you will go see a dentist at the earliest signs of a problem. However, if you put off getting treatment from your dentist, gingivitis can progress to the advanced symptoms of periodontitis. Some of these include loose teeth and exposed tooth roots. Infected gums can progressively compromise your teeth. Once the gum is too weak to hold the tooth, your teeth become loose and can easily fall out. You should also consider the risks of an untreated infection. Collected bacteria in your mouth can cause an infection in one of the pockets of your gums. Also known as a dental abscess, the infection will inflame your gum tissue and cause significant discomfort, particularly if you still don’t seek treatment. It’s also possible for the infection to get into your bloodstream, which will impact your entire body.
As soon as you have a sign of periodontal disease, you should make an appointment to have it checked by a dental professional. No matter what stage your disease is in, there’s several treatments that can restore your oral health. If your case is especially advanced, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist in Charlotte, NC who specializes in the treatment of the gums. Reversing periodontal disease may be a long process that requires several appointments. However, the sooner you fix it, you won’t have to deal with symptoms or get more extensive treatments, which will be required if you wait. The three main treatments and procedures for gum disease are:
SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
Also known as a deep cleaning or SRP, scaling and root planing is a procedure your dentist can perform to clean out the bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup in your gum pockets. First, the dentist will use a tool known as a scaler to remove the debris from your gum pockets. Then, they will plane (or smooth) the enamel so there are fewer areas where debris and bacteria often get trapped and turn into buildup. A few scaling and root planing treatments can usually correct gingivitis and reverse most of the damage done to your gums.
Antibiotics may be helpful to heal infected gum tissue. Your dentist may recommend antibiotics after a scaling and root planing treatment to catch any remaining bacteria so your gums can heal properly.
Gum surgery will correct the deep pockets that cause all the problems (collecting bacteria, getting infected, and raising your gumline). Depending on your condition, there are many ways to perform gum surgery. After periodontitis is diagnosed, your dentist will discuss your options before developing a careful plan for your surgery and follow-up treatment.
REASONS YOU MAY BE AT HIGHER RISK
If you are at higher risk for getting gum disease, you can be proactive about checking for symptoms and taking preventive measures. These are four of the main factors that can increase your risk for developing gingivitis:
PREVENT PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Whether you want to avoid periodontal disease altogether or you would like to avoid getting it again, here’s a few tips on keeping your gums healthy and strong:
GET RID OF GINGIVITIS
If you have signs of gum disease or you are at high risk for developing it, speak to your dentist. DentalWorks – Carmel Village can identify gingivitis and periodontitis then offer a custom treatment plan. We can usually reverse gingivitis with one or more scaling and root planing (SRP) treatments plus antibiotics. When the issue has advanced to periodontitis, our practice in Charlotte, NC can perform laser gum surgery to repair your health.