If you notice mild bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth, it may be a sign of gingivitis. While not all bleeding is cause for alarm, it may be something more serious. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. It presents as bleeding, swollen, or red gums. At first, your gums are the only part of your mouth affected. However, it can spread to other places.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can advance into your jaw bone, causing deterioration and missing teeth. Typically, plaque is the main contributor to gum disease. So if your oral hygiene is not thorough, then you will be susceptible to gum disease. Plaque is a type of harmful bacteria that builds on every surface of your mouth, including underneath your gums. If you don’t remove it, it will continue to develop and irritate the soft tissues in your mouth.
If you have gum disease, try not to worry. There are many treatment options available to you.
Since oral hygiene is one of the most significant factors for gum disease, creating a better routine can help reduce or eliminate your symptoms. When plaque builds on your teeth, your gums become swollen and irritated. Over time, the gums will begin to recede, allowing more plaque to build. Unfortunately, this can cause your gums to recede all the way down to the root, exposing the nerve.
To avoid this, you can brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing helps to eliminate plaque buildup. However, you also need to add flossing to your routine. Flossing removes plaque between your teeth and underneath your gums.
Regular dental cleanings can help prevent and rid your mouth of gum disease. Your dental hygienist uses special tools that can remove plaque better than your daily oral routine. During your cleaning, they will use a scaler to scrape any leftover plaque or tartar buildup. Additionally, they will clean your teeth with a high-powered brush and a gritty paste, polishing the surface. Finally, they will floss your teeth with a unique technique to eliminate any remaining plaque.
Since gum disease is an infection, your dentist may recommend antibiotics. Typically, antibiotics will reduce or eliminate the infection. As long as you follow the administration guidelines, you should have no more problems with gum disease. Following your round of antibiotics, you should follow a proper oral health routine.
Sometimes, antibiotics are not enough to eliminate the infection. Therefore, your dentist may recommend another round of antibiotics and dental cleaning.
For advanced cases of gum disease, you may need surgery as treatment. A surgeon may perform a surgery that reduces the “pockets” of plaque underneath your gums.
To begin, they will make small incisions to lift the gum tissue. This will help expose a larger area for cleaning. Next, they will scale and scrape the plaque from the tissue. If there is bone loss or tissue damage, your dentist may perform a bone or tissue graft before closing the surgical site.