red bleeding gums learn about gum disease and its symptoms 5edf9ef355e0f

Red, Bleeding Gums? Learn About Gum Disease and Its Symptoms

Unless you work in a dentist’s office, you may be
unfamiliar with the term “periodontal disease.”
Considered a clinical term for what is otherwise known as “gum disease,” this
harmful dental problem can wreak havoc on not only your oral health but your
overall well-being, too. What you think is only affecting your mouth can
actually lead to serious health problems, such as heart attack, stroke,
diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s and Dementia. As someone who relies on the expertise
of dental professionals to know the appropriate terms and provide quality care,
take a few minutes to learn more about this common oral disease and what you
can do to prevent it.

What is Gum Disease?

Millions of adults in the United States have some form of gum
disease and don’t even know it. When plaque and tartar start to develop above
and below the gum line, it attacks the soft oral tissue that surrounds your
teeth, causing redness, inflammation, and even bleeding to occur when brushing
or flossing.

What Are Its Symptoms?

Apart from the redness appearing on your gums as well as
puffiness (inflammation) and bleeding, there are other ways to tell if gum
disease is a current problem and should be seen by a dentist:

  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums and teeth that appear longer
  • Gum pocket development
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Oral sores that do not heal
  • Pus developing between your teeth and gums
  • A change in your bite

There are certain risk factors that can make gum disease
more prevalent in some more than others with the most common ones being:

  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Medications

Ways to Treat Gum Disease

If you and your dentist believe gum disease is present, it
is important that necessary treatment occurs in order to keep it from
escalating. The earliest stage is known as gingivitis, which can easily be
treated with regular dental cleanings and practicing good oral hygiene habits
at home. However, if plaque has spread beneath the gum line and the soft tissue
is beginning to create a small pocket, your dentist will need to perform a root
and scaling procedure.

This type of treatment removes harmful plaque and tartar and
smooths out the tooth root to ensure that the gums will reattach to the teeth
over time. As you will be considered a “periodontal patient,” it will be necessary
to see your dentist more often than every six months to ensure that infection
stays away.

By maintaining good oral hygiene, limiting the amount of
sugar you consume, and eating a well-balanced diet, you can work to prevent gum
disease from occurring. But if you start to notice problems with the way your
mouth feels or how your gums look when brushing or flossing, get in to see your
dentist as soon as possible. The quicker you start treatment, the better off
your oral health will be.

About the Author
Considered one of the top dentists in Northern Virginia, Dr. Wayne Myles has provided comprehensive dental services since 1997. Attending SUNY at Binghamton, he graduated with a degree in biology before going to Georgetown Dental School and graduating in 1990. Helping patients achieve healthier smiles, he and his team can address a wide range of dental problems, providing beneficial treatments as well as tips and at-home techniques to follow. To learn more about Dr. Myles, or for questions about our services, visit our website or call (703) 925-0800.

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