Bleeding gums are usually the first sign of gum disease. Routine dental visits can help you prevent and manage gum disease at any stage. Dr. Stevens offers comprehensive periodontal care and screens children and adult patients for gum disease on every visit to his Greenwood dentist office.
Bleeding gums are not normal and should be checked by a dentist. If you notice that your gums bleed routinely, scheduling a dental checkup with Beautiful Smiles near Indianapolis and Greenwood, Indiana is best.
Early diagnosis and intervention can allow for conservative periodontal treatment, preventing secondary health complications. The best way to prevent gum disease is by visiting the dentist on a routine basis.
Preventing Gum Disease
The Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease has four different stages that you can experience.
This is the first stage and is the only one that’s reversible. It comes on when you have plaque buildup at the gum line, and it starts irritating the gum tissue. Many adults have this stage of gum disease and don’t even realize it. The early warning signs of gingivitis aren’t painful, so that you may brush them off. Most commonly, you’ll notice your gums bleeding regularly when you’re brushing your teeth. If you see frequent gum bleeding, call our office to schedule an appointment.
At this stage of gum disease, treatment is pretty simple. You just need to better your oral hygiene and maybe brush your teeth and visit the dentist a bit more frequently until things are back on track. We may suggest deep cleaning or prescribe you an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent bacterial growth in your mouth.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, the disease is no longer reversible, but you can manage it. The bacteria have evolved and are starting to attack bone at this point, becoming more aggressive. We use scaling and root planing at this stage to manage the condition. Pockets form between your gum tissue and bone. We clean the debris and bacteria out of those pockets and then smooth down the tooth roots so that the gum tissue can reattach itself to the bone.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
Not only are the bacteria attacking your bones at this stage, but they’re attacking the bloodstream as well. The inflammation and infection from the disease can get into the bloodstream, causing health problems throughout your entire body. There’s more to worry about than just your oral health. Scaling and root planing are the treatment options for this stage as well.
Severe Periodontal Disease
At this stage, the disease has evolved completely into severely damaging bacteria. Your gums are oozing pus, you have pain when you’re biting and chewing, and extremely bad breath. Your teeth start to loosen because their base is destroyed, and you risk losing them. At this stage, only periodontal surgery or laser gum therapy can manage the condition. You run the risk of severe problems in other areas of your body as well.
The Impact of Gum Disease: The Oral-Body Connection
Gum disease is a serious and complex condition that progresses and eventually damages a patient’s overall health and well-being. As bacteria multiply and spread, deep pockets are formed in the gum line. The gums become inflamed and start to pull away from the teeth. Teeth lose stability, begin to shift, and may eventually fall out.
Patients with advanced gum disease are prone to tooth loss, bone loss, facial sagging, and a whole range of systemic health complications.
Adult-Onset Diabetes and Periodontal Disease
Elevated bacterial and viral invaders, such as periodontitis, lead to internal inflammation and can increase a person’s insulin resistance, which aggravates blood sugar control. If you have diabetes, further infection worsens insulin resistance and significantly diminishes the diabetic’s ability to keep their blood sugar regulated.
People with periodontal disease are two times more likely to have insulin resistance. Type II diabetics have a seven times greater mortality rate when they have severe periodontal disease.
Gum disease and cardiovascular disease
Recent dental research has shown that men and women with periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those without. Scientific research has shown that bacteria originating from persistent oral infections, including gum disease, can spread through the bloodstream and stimulate an inflammatory response. This increases the risk of developing disease in the heart and other parts of the body.
Sedation Dentistry for Dental Anxiety
We often find that patients with advanced gum disease have avoided routine dental exams for years due to fear of the dentist. Skipping routine checkups can lead to the progression of gum disease, tooth loss, and even bone recession.
Dr. Stevens offers a family-focused, welcoming, no-pressure dental office environment. We allow patients to express their concerns and take the time to listen to their goals and answer their questions. We restore patients’ total oral health through conservative, high-quality modern dental care, improving their comfort and confidence in their smiles.
Our Greenwood, IN family dentist office also offers sedation dentistry options for patients who experience dental anxiety. Dr. Stevens will discuss sedation options before treatment so that patients feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
Bleeding Gums FAQs
Does smoking cause bleeding gums?
Yes, smoking is a risk factor for gum disease. Bleeding gums are one of the first symptoms of this progressive disease. Heavy smokers can develop periodontal disease even if they take good care of their teeth. To lower your risk of developing gum disease, your dentist will strongly suggest you quit smoking and avoid tobacco altogether.
Are bleeding gums painful?
Bleeding gums are not always painful, which is why many people are shocked when they discover blood in the sink. Many patients are unaware they have gum disease since the first stages possess little to no noticeable symptoms. However, if you discover that your gums are bleeding, you should visit your dentist immediately, even if it is not painful.
What do gums look like when they have gum disease?
Healthy gums are firm, pink, and tightly fitted around the teeth. Unhealthy gums are swollen and noticeably irritated. They are typically red similar to how an infection on the skin may look. Another sure sign of gum disease is when the gums are clearly pulling away from the teeth. The gums will also bleed easily when flossing or brushing.
Schedule A Dental Exam Today
If you have sore gums or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment for a personalized, comprehensive oral health exam. Contact Beautiful Smiles at (317) 886-4512. We offer treatment for gum disease near Indianapolis, IN, and Greenwood area. We gladly welcome new patients.