Bleeding gums are one of the most common signs of gum disease, signaling the presence of gingivitis. Gingivitis is an increase of plaque along the gum line.
Left untreated, gum disease can lead to complex dental problems, including tooth loss. Your dentist in Durham, North Carolina provides bleeding gums treatment using painless dental procedures.
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 a quick resolution and enables conservative treatments to be effective. If left untreated, it can easily develop into a larger problem where you may even lose your teeth.
Preventing Gum Disease
Dr. Blaylock recommends visiting our dentist office at least every six months to help prevent the development of gum disease. This, combined with a strict at-home oral hygiene routine that includes daily brushing and flossing between visits, will help prevent it.
Various risk factors for developing gum disease include certain lifestyle habits such as tobacco use and smoking. Discussing your concerns and lifestyle habits during regular visits with Dr. Blaylock enables him and his staff to make appropriate oral hygiene recommendations to reduce your risk of 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. Brent Blaylock can cure your gum disease with periodontal therapy. Request an appointment by calling 919-518-9963, or request an appointment online.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Dr. Blaylock performs a thorough periodontal screening during your routine preventive care visits to his Durham dentist office. There are many common signs and symptoms of gum disease that he is looking for, including:
- 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.
Gum Disease Stages
There are four different stages of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the first and only reversible stage. Gum disease is so prevalent in adults because it’s hard to detect early on. Most of the warning sides are painless and you don’t notice any discomfort. The most visible warning sign is bleeding gums. If you notice your gums are bleeding regularly when you brush your teeth, schedule a checkup.
Next is slight periodontal disease. Once it reaches this stage, it’s no longer reversible, but it can be managed. The bacteria become more aggressive and start attacking the bone tissue in your mouth. Your gums start to recede and pockets develop. Scaling and root planing manage it at this stage. We clean out the bacteria and buildup in the gum pockets and smooth down the tooth roots so the gum tissue can reattach.
Mild periodontal disease sees the bacteria becoming more aggressive and progressing further. Instead of just attacking your bone structure, the bacteria make their way into your bloodstream, too. Inflammation and infection from gum disease travels throughout your body and may cause problems in other areas. Scaling and root planing are also used during this stage.
Without treatment, things progress into severe periondontal disease. It’s painful for you to chew and your teeth become loose and can fall out. Your gums are red, swollen, and oozing pus and you have terrible bad breath. At this stage, periodontal surgery or laser gum treatment are the only options that can manage the disease.
Gum Disease Treatment in Durham, NC
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 and bacteria from the gum line and deeper recesses of the mouth using special tools. Removing the bacteria from the pockets in the early stages of development can help prevent gum recession and tooth loss. 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.
Gum Disease FAQs
My gum disease is improving. How can I prevent it from returning?
The best way to ensure that your gum disease does not progress is by regularly brushing and flossing at home, as well as keeping up with regular dental cleanings.
This allows your dental hygienist to scrape away plaque from your teeth to prevent any further progression of gum disease.
If you are currently a smoker, stop smoking, as this is a well-documented factor in the development and progression of gum disease.
What if I don’t get my bleeding gums fixed?
As mentioned above, bleeding gums is a common sign of periodontal disease. By ignoring the issue, you risk getting infections, advanced periodontal disease, tooth loss, and more.
Sometimes your gums bleed because you brush your teeth too hard, but this is not always the case. Visit your dentist to find the exact cause of your bleeding gums.
Will gum disease go away on its own?
No. A disease will keep eating away at its host. Gum disease is no different. If you have constant infections and a place for harmful bacteria to thrive, your gum disease won’t go away on its own.
Some patients may not experience any signs of gum disease and think it’s gone, so it is important to visit our Durham dental office twice yearly.
What will a dentist do for bleeding gums?
If you have bleeding gums, your dentist will perform an oral evaluation to determine the cause of the bleeding. This may include taking x-rays and inspecting teeth and gum tissue for signs of infection or other problems. Once your dentist identifies the underlying issue, they can prescribe the appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment could range from improving your brushing techniques and increased flossing to antibiotics or even surgery in more severe cases.
How do you stop gum disease from getting worse?
The best way to prevent gum disease from getting worse is to practice good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Good oral hygiene involves brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with floss. You should also replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner. Avoiding smoking and other tobacco products, eating a balanced diet, and limiting sugary and acidic foods and drinks can also help maintain gum health. If you have concerns about your gum health, talk to your dentist for advice and treatment recommendations.
Does insurance cover the cost of gum disease treatment?
Yes, most insurance companies will cover some or all of the costs of treating gum disease. The exact coverage will depend on each individual’s policy and what type of treatment you need. Many plans cover X-rays and more advanced treatments such as scaling and root planing (deep cleaning). However, they may not cover more extensive treatments such as periodontal surgery. It is important to check with your insurer to see what dental procedures they cover and what your out-of-pocket expenses may be. They will be able to provide you with a breakdown of your coverage and your specific plan.