Dental Tips Blog

Apr
6

How Do I Know If I Have Periodontal Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, starts out as gingivitis – a condition that impacts approximately 90% of adults. Everyone has germs in their mouth that can cause periodontal disease. Those germs mix with sugary foods in your diet, causing a sticky plaque to form on your teeth. If this plaque is not removed with daily brushing and flossing, your gums can get infected with gum disease.

There are 3 stages of gum disease:

Gingivitis- This is the earliest stage. Your gums are red and puffy but this phase of disease is reversible because it has not spread to the bone.

Mild to Moderate Periodontitis- The supporting structures of the tooth now have irreversible damage due to the disease. Bone loss is evident on x-rays, and the gums bleed when you floss or brush.

Advanced Periodontitis- The supporting tooth structures are all destroyed – causing the teeth to become mobile to the point that they will fall out.

You may have gum disease if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Puffy, red or tender gums
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Gums that bleed when you brush and floss
  • Flappy gums that have pulled away from your teeth

What can be done to treat gum disease?

Brushing and flossing daily will help keep plaque from building up, which will help your gums stay healthy. If your gum disease has advanced to a later stage, you need to see a gum specialist to save your teeth.

If you think you have gum disease, contact your dentist. The good news is that the early stages of the infection can be reversed if you seek care out early.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Dec
29

Is It Normal For Gums to Bleed When You Floss?

Posted in Gum Disease

Many patients tell their dentist, “My gums bleed when I floss, so I don’t do it.”  What they don’t realize, is that they are actually making their “gums” worse by not flossing.  When the gums (gingiva) bleed, it is called “Gingivitis” because the gingiva is inflamed, due to the biofilm buildup, which is a sticky substance produced by the bacteria in your mouth when you eat sugary types of foods.  This biofilm is irritating to the gums, which is why they bleed when you floss.

The good news is that Gingivitis is reversible.  When you floss correctly and regularly, you are helping to remove the biofilm between the teeth.  As a result, the inflammation should go away, you reduce the chances of having Gingivitis, and your gums should stop bleeding when you floss.

Here are some considerations when flossing:

  • It is best to floss your teeth by adapting the floss around the tooth like a “C” and gently wiping up and down along the tooth’s surface, including just below the gumline.  This will allow you to gently and effectively remove the biofilm, which causes your gums to bleed.
  • You should floss your teeth at least one time a day, preferably at night before bed.  This will help to remove the biofilm before you go to sleep so the bacteria is not left in between your teeth all night, making the inflammation worse.

So, it is not normal for gums to bleed when you floss.  It is actually a sign of an active infection in your mouth.  The best thing you can do for your bleeding gums is to continue flossing.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050 

May
3

Recognizing Gingivitis

Gingivitis is type of gum disease that causes swelling and inflammation of the gums.  It is usually very mild and is easily treatable, but if left untreated it can cause serious oral health problems.  If you see signs of gingivitis, it is important to see your dentist right away and get it taken care of before it progresses into more serious gum disease.

Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.  As the disease progresses, the gums will become tender or sore and the inflammation will increase.  This stage of the disease is often accompanied by bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth.  If left untreated, the patient’s gums will begin to discharge pus, their teeth will loosen and fall out, and the swelling and pain will continue to intensify.

Gingivitis is caused by poor oral hygiene that leads to the buildup of plaque.  Plaque is full of bacteria that attack the gums.  Proper brushing and flossing habits remove plaque and can prevent gingivitis from forming.  In addition, you should see your dentist at least once a year for cleaning and examination.  Smoking, substance abuse, weakened immune systems, and diabetes have all been linked to an increased risk of gingivitis.  If you fall into any of these categories, you should schedule a dental cleaning and examination more frequently.

Treatment consists of a thorough dental cleaning followed by rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.  In more severe cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection.  Gingivitis usually resolves after a cleaning with no further complications as long as the patient follows good oral hygiene habits.

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