Some studies have shown that as many as half of American adults have bleeding or swollen gums. The team at Sonrisas Sanas Dental in New York City wants you to know that periodontal disease — infection around the gum line — isn’t something to mess around with. Periodontal disease is linked to health problems like heart disease and stroke, so get the treatment you need to address your oral and overall health. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, call or click today and schedule an appointment at the office.
Periodontal disease refers to infections of the structures surrounding your teeth, particularly your gums. The earliest form of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis, which is often marked by swollen or bleeding gums. These are usually the first signs of periodontal disease and a sign that you need to take better care of both your teeth and gums.
More advanced periodontal disease can affect the root and bone surrounding your teeth as well.
Many people believe that bleeding gums are normal and par for the course. However, researchers believe there are links between periodontal disease and a variety of serious health concerns, including:
It’s easier to understand how to prevent periodontal disease if you know what causes it.
Classic x-ray of advanced periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist and can be observed by the dental hygienist during your routine dental cleaning. When the existence of this disease is suspected, a thorough evaluation should be made to assess the degree of involvement of the supporting tissues of the tooth, such as bone, gum, periodontal tissue and tooth root.
This detailed examination is performed with a probe or periodontal instrument that will measure in millimeters the depth of the defect or space between the teeth (periodontal pocket), to determine the severity of this condition.
Under normal conditions of health, the space between healthy bone and enamel measures 3 millimeters and is called dental groove, and those 3 millimeters are covered by free gum (which is not attached directly to the tooth or bone).
Therefore, when this test is performed, the gum does not bleed. If the gum bleeds, then we can say that there is gingivitis, which is inflammation of this free gum or it can also indicate the onset of a periodontal disease.
It is the inflammation of the gingiva (gum) and if it is not corrected, it will lead to periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque, which indicates that there is no proper oral hygiene and that brushing is not being done properly.
In gingivitis, the gums become inflamed, redden and bleed easily, can be localized (isolated teeth) or generalized (throughout the mouth).
Periodontitis is the long-term consequence of not treating gingivitis, it is the aggravation of oral health. And it brings many consequences such as bad smell, bad breath, bleeding gums, inflammation of the gums, mobility of the teeth, even the possible loss of them. This advanced stage of the disease is known as chronic periodontitis and may also be related to general diseases, mainly diabetes and in pregnant women causes low weight of the child at birth, among other things.
We also have to take into account that in this periodontal disease, there are a number of different types of bacteria that can cause other diseases in any part of our body.
Bacteria in dental plaque is the main root cause of periodontal disease. Plaque is a sticky substance which forms on your teeth shortly after you brush them.
Your immune system, in an effort to remove bacteria, releases combative substances that can inflame and damage your gums and surrounding structures. The result is often bleeding gums.
Essentially, when you neglect your oral hygiene, plaque accumulates on your teeth and is likely to spread below your gum line. At this point, your toothbrush can’t even reach it and bacteria will continue to grow there, worsening your symptoms.
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing daily to remove plaque.
Also, maintain your regular visits to the Sonrisas Sanas Dental office for cleanings at least every six months. Professional cleanings and evaluations from your dentist and a hygienist keep your teeth healthy and strong. They can help you improve your brushing and flossing technique so that you’re able to take good care of your teeth and gums at home.
Most occurrences of periodontal disease can be treated with a conservative, nonsurgical treatment called scaling and root planing (SRP).
During SRP, your dentist or hygienist scrapes and removes plaque and tartar off your teeth with special dental instruments and then polishes away anything left behind on the roots and bone. This prevents future bacteria growth. Depending on how advanced your periodontal disease is, SRP may require more than one visit to the office.
As long as you improve your oral hygiene, your gums quickly heal and you can notice a drastic improvement.
When you come in with symptoms of periodontal disease, your dentist assesses your condition and decides if your condition requires more invasive methods, such as regenerative procedures or gum grafting to heal your receding gums.
If you have swollen or bleeding gums, call or use the online booking tool and schedule an appointment to learn about your treatment options.