You’ve noticed blood in the sink lately as you brush your teeth. Your teeth don’t hurt so it must not be a big deal, right? Wrong! This is actually a great time to contact your dentist and schedule a cleaning and check-up because teeth that bleed during brushing indicate the early stage of periodontal (gum) disease. Learn more about here about periodontal disease and the importance of gum health.
What is Periodontal Disease?
When you have excessive plaque buildup that’s not removed effectively on a daily basis, it can cause your gums to separate from your teeth. This allows harmful bacteria below your gum line, which causes an infection of your soft tissues and bone. If the infection is left untreated, it will eventually destroy the support system for your teeth and will result in tooth loss.
Gum disease can be hard to detect on your own because there’s typically not a lot of pain associated with it at first. This is why regular check-ups with your dentist are so important.
The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and the good news is that this stage can often be treated effectively with a thorough professional cleaning and improvements to your home care routine. In some cases it can even be reversed. Some telltale signs of gingivitis are:
- Gums that appear red and swollen
- Chronic bad breath that won’t go away
- Gums that bleed during brushing
If you experience any of these signs, contact your dentist right away for a cleaning and check-up.
The advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis, and this is where the damage begins to occur. You may notice that your teeth become loose or mobile in this stage, and it will require a deeper cleaning below the gum line to remove the excess plaque and tartar buildup.
Periodontitis may require additional antibiotic treatments or even surgery to help you maintain your oral health. We may also recommend additional cleanings each year to help keep your condition under control.
The Oral Systemic Link
Many emerging studies have shown us that the bacteria that causes periodontal disease can also contribute to the inflammation that causes diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and vice versa. Taking care of your oral health has never been more important for your overall health and well being.
Contact Our Office to Learn More
Drs. Carolyn and Walter McGinn are your partners in achieving and maintaining optimum oral health for a lifetime. A healthy and beautiful smile starts with your preventive appointments, and we encourage you to call us today to schedule your next appointment.