Do you notice blood-tinged spit in the sink after you have brushed or flossed your teeth? You may think that it is normal, and you are simply pushing too hard; however, this is not the case. Bleeding gums are never normal. In fact, it is often the first sign of gum disease, which is an infection in the gum tissue. Although it is easily preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 50% of adults have a form of it. To stop the spread of the infection, it is best to see your family dentist in Fort Smith right away for treatment.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissue that develops from bacteria that is found in tartar accumulations. When plaque is not removed from the gum line with proper brushing and flossing habits, it turns onto tartar, which harbors bacteria. It then causes the gum tissue to become red, swollen, and bleed. Over time, pockets will form, trapping additional bacteria.
Although the early signs of the infection may not seem severe, if it is left untreated, it will cause serious complications for your oral and general health. Over time, it will begin to destroy the supporting structures of your teeth, which can lead to tooth loss.
The bacteria responsible for the infection can enter your bloodstream. As it circulates throughout your body, it causes inflammation. This increases your risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition, it can lead to pulmonary infections, diabetic complications, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Can I Treat Gum Disease?
When caught in the earliest stage, known as gingivitis, gum disease can quickly be treated without causing any long-term damage. Your dentist will perform a deep cleaning. This involves using a special dental tool to clean below the gum line. After the buildup has been removed, the tooth roots are then smoothed to help prevent buildup in the future.
Your dentist will also recommend changes to your oral hygiene habits, such as the use of a special mouthrinse or more frequent dental cleanings. In some cases, antibiotics may be needed. If the infection progresses to the advanced stages, a more aggressive treatment plan will be needed.
Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Gum disease can easily be prevented by properly caring for your teeth and gums at home. In addition to brushing twice a day, be sure to floss every night before going to bed. Do not forget to visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
Restore a Healthy Smile
If your gums bleed when you brush, do not ignore it. Contact your dentist today to restore your gum health.
About Dr. Gilbert Lopez
Dr. Gilbert Lopez has made it his mission to promote optimal oral health for his patients. In addition to preventive care, he offers many areas of specialty, including periodontal therapy. If you have gum disease or notice changes to your gum health, contact New Smile Dental today to schedule your consultation.