Most Americans experience some form of periodontal disease…often without realizing it. Periodontal disease is chiefly responsible for adult tooth loss, for bleeding gums, for bad breath and for receding gums. The truth is, it is easily prevented with proper hygiene, home-care, and professional treatment. If diagnosed in its early stages, gum disease treatments are easier, less invasive, and more effective. Your visit to Dr. Rutledge includes a complete examination of your gums and supportive structures, and you will have access to advanced periodontal therapy to heal and to restore your oral health.
Q: What is periodontal disease?
A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often times bleeding during brushing or flossing. If treated in a timely manner, these conditions can be reversed, preventing periodontal disease from developing. Periodontitis, however, is much more difficult to treat.
Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even from a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If you don’t catch periodontitis in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.
According to Caesy Dental Education, “Ailments associated with periodontal disease include respiratory disease, pneumonia, strokes, ulcers, difficult-to-control diabetes, low birth weight babies, and infective endocarditis (a dangerous infection of the heart valves). Researchers recently discovered that this chronic infection in your mouth creates an open doorway for plaque bacteria to enter the bloodstream. These bacteria – streptococcus sanguinis – may cause blood clots that can block your arteries and even trigger a heart attack.”
Q: My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
A: It is certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. however, the condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper, rough “scrubbing’”instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods, or if it occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.
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