Don’t ignore bleeding gums
One common and dangerous myth when it comes to oral health is that it’s normal for gums to bleed sometimes during regular brushing and flossing – this is FALSE. Your gums should never bleed, and if they do, it means you have gingivitis, or early stage gum disease. The good news is if we catch it in the early stage, we can likely treat and reverse the problem before it progresses into a more serious issue.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a common and serious infection of the gums that can devastate your oral and overall health. It’s estimated that over half of the American adult population has some form of gum disease, while many cases remain undiagnosed. Gum disease is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, and left untreated can lead to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration, and can also be a risk factor for serious systemic diseases.
What does gum disease look like?
- Poor oral hygiene habits cause an excess of plaque buildup on teeth and along the gum line, which eventually hardens into tartar.
- Your gums may become swollen, red, tender, and bleed easily.
- Tartar irritates the gums to the point where they begin to pull away from the teeth, or recede.
- Deep pockets form between the gums and teeth, which become a breeding ground for the infection to progress.
- Eventually the tissue is so damaged that the teeth begin to loosen and fall out.
- The jawbone will begin to deteriorate or atrophy.
- The infection travels from your mouth and into the rest of the body and internal organs, increasing your risk for serious health complications like heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
What are the risks?
Left untreated, gum disease can wreak havoc on not only your oral health, but your overall systemic health as well. Gum disease has been linked to and increases your risk for:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Kidney disease
- Lung disease
- Birth defects
- Pancreatic cancer
- Neck & head cancers
- Tooth & bone loss
How is gum disease treated?
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs and symptoms, or have been diagnosed and are seeking treatment, we would love to help you get your gum disease under control at Dubuque Periodontics. If you are in the early stages of gum disease, we may be able to reverse it with some simple oral hygiene and nutrition adjustments.
However, if your gingivitis has advanced into periodontitis, or advanced gum disease, you may require additional treatment. We offer several different types of treatment options, depending on your individual needs:
- Cleaning & Prevention
- Scaling & Root Planing
- Gum Grafting
- Chao Pinhole® Therapy
- LANAP® Laser Therapy
- Pocket Reduction Treatment
Give us a call!
Don’t wait around for gum disease to resolve itself, because it won’t! If you have any questions about gum disease, or would like to schedule an appointment with your Dubuque periodontist – Dr. James Fili at Dubuque Periodontics – give us a call today at (563) 538-1003.