Bleeding gums are one of the most common signs of gum disease, signaling the presence of gingivitis, an increase of plaque along the gum line. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to complex dental problems including tooth loss.
Gum disease affects approximately 75% of adults at some point in their lives and is often noticed during routine dental exams with Dr. Blaylock. Spotting the signs of gum disease early can mean quick resolution and enables conservative treatments to be effective.
Preventing Gum Disease
Dr. Blaylock recommends twice yearly visits to help prevent the development of gum disease as well as daily brushing and flossing between visits.
There are a variety of risk factors for developing gum disease, including certain lifestyle habits such as tobacco use and smoking. Discussing your concerns and lifestyle habits during regular visits with Dr. Blaylock enable he and his staff to make appropriate oral hygiene recommendations that can reduce your risk of developing gum disease.
Good oral hygiene is one the best ways to prevent gum disease and maintain healthy gum tissue- healthy gums support healthy teeth.
Dr. Blaylock performs a thorough periodontal screening during a routine preventive care visit to his Durham dentist office, looking for common signs and symptoms of gum disease:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Changes in the bite or shifting of teeth
- Bad breath, also known as halitosis
- Deep pockets along the gum line
Gum disease is often called the “silent disease” because many patients are unaware they have it until it is spotted by Dr. Blaylock or has advanced and caused significant oral health concerns.
Gingivitis: the first stage of gum disease as a result of a build up of plaque along the gum line, irritating the gum tissue and setting the stage for gum and tooth damage as bacteria increases.
Periodontitis: advanced gum disease which has begum to affect the health of both gums and teeth as bacteria gets into the bone and forms deep pockets along the gum line. This can lead to tooth loss if untreated due to damage to the supporting bone and gum tissues.
Dr. Blaylock offers periodontal therapy to treat gum disease. Treatment options will depend on the stage and severity of the gum disease, with some patients needing lifelong monitoring to maintain healthy gum tissue.
In some cases additional at home oral hygiene such as an antibacterial rinse may be sufficient to restore dental health and maintain healthy gums between routine visits.
Scaling and root planing is a conservative treatment option for patients with early stage gum disease. This intense cleaning removes plaque from the gum line and deeper recesses of the mouth. Dr. Blaylock may also recommend additional at home oral care to keep the gums healthy and prevent a recurrence.
Gum surgery may be recommended for patients with advanced gum disease to remove damaged tissue and restore oral health.