Is Gum Disease Creeping Up on You?
More adults lose their teeth to gum disease than any other condition — cavities included — each year. At Modern Dental, we work closely with our patients to ensure that gum infections are diagnosed and treated early, while the situation is still reversible.
It’s Not Normal for Your Gums to Bleed
No matter what you’ve heard in the past, it’s not normal for you to have bleeding gums when you brush or floss. In fact, it’s your body’s way of trying to tell you that something is wrong.
Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gingivitis, or inflammation of the gingival tissues that help retain your teeth in their proper positions. If left untreated, the tissues start to detach…as well as the bone below it. Teeth soon become sore, mobile, or even fall out.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
The earlier gum disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Let our Richardson dentist know if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Gum recession
- Problems with food catching between your teeth
- Sore teeth or tooth mobility
- Heavy tartar buildup
During your exam, we’ll carefully measure several points on each tooth to note where your soft tissues are attached. This data — known as “pocket depths” — is compared to your diagnostic X-rays, so that we can gain an understanding of how severe the tissue destruction or bone loss has become.
When a Routine Cleaning Isn’t Enough
The first step in treating periodontal disease is cleaning the teeth and gum pockets surrounding them. Once the bacterial plaque and tartar have been removed, these areas are easier to maintain so that healing can take place.
Unfortunately, a routine preventive cleaning isn’t appropriate when advanced disease conditions are present. At this point, a “deep cleaning” will likely be recommended. As a therapeutic and non-surgical procedure, deep cleanings are essential to halt the disease process before tooth loss occurs, or you require surgery.
Generally, we’ll schedule this process to occur over a couple of different appointments, so that plenty of time can be devoted to cleaning the infected surfaces. Depending on your comfort level, local anesthesia or a light sedative can help you to relax.
If you suspect that you may have periodontal disease, or bleeding gums aren’t improving after a few weeks of daily flossing, call Modern Dental to schedule a gum health evaluation.