Blood on your toothbrush or in the sink when rinsing your mouth is not “normal.” Instead, it could be a sign of gum disease. The earlier you gain a gum disease diagnosis, the sooner you can get the gum disease treatment needed to prevent worsening symptoms.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease. An infection of your gums, this may seem minor at first. However, this infection travels beneath your gum line and endangers bones, then becoming a more serious gum disease called periodontitis.
Scientists connected both of these types of gum disease to diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia, cancer, and osteoporosis. Knowing the symptoms of gum disease is important for early detection, swift treatment, and decreased risk for more serious health problems.
Both gingivitis and periodontitis have been shown to raise your risk of things like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer. Early detection is your best bet.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, Swollen Gums: Inflamed, tender, or painful gums that bleed easily are a sure sign you need to visit the dentist. These are the first indicators of gum disease.
- Bad Breath: Bad breath is an indicator of bacteria hard at work in your mouth. Toxins from these bacteria irritate your gums and teeth. These toxins also produce a foul smell, which is how bad breath materializes. However, gingivitis is less likely to be your diagnosis with bad breath than periodontitis, which is more serious.
- Shrinking Gums: If your teeth look longer over time, it doesn’t mean that your teeth are growing. Your gums are possibly receding after separating from the teeth, which is a sign of bone breakdown due to gum disease.
- Sensitive Teeth: Tooth sensitivity to cold, sugars, and air is also a sign of gum disease. Receding gums expose the dentin of teeth, the sensitive part.
- Shifting or Loose Teeth: Gum disease affects the bones holding your teeth in place, loosening them and enabling them to move out of alignment. Periodontitis causes this, even affecting your bite.
Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease treatment takes multiple forms, depending on your disease stage, severity, earlier treatments, and overall health. It can be nonsurgical or surgical.
Nonsurgical treatment includes:
- Professional Dental Cleaning: Regular dental cleanings and checkups involve your dentist or dental hygienist removing plaque and its hardened form, tartar, from tooth surfaces and above and below your gumline. While dental cleanings don’t treat active gum disease, they do prevent gum disease.
- Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling and root planing involve a deep cleaning under local anesthetic. This process scrapes plaque and tartar from the teeth above and below the gumline. It also smooths rough spots on tooth roots. This process removes bacteria and provides clean surfaces on teeth for gums to reattach.
- Medications: Antibiotic medications reduce or temporarily eliminate gum disease bacteria and the disease’s development.
Surgical Gum Disease Treatment
Examples of surgical gum disease treatment include:
- Flap Surgery or Pocket Reduction Surgery: In this surgery, the dentist lifts your gums and removes tartar by scaling your teeth. The dentist smooths irregular surfaces through a process called planing. This procedure enables gums to fit snugly against teeth, reducing places for the bacteria to live and grow.
- Bone Grafts: The dentist takes fragments of your own, donor or synthetic bones and replaces bone damaged by gum disease. These grafts provide a place for your own bone to regrow, strengthening your teeth.
- Soft Tissue Grafts: Soft tissue grafts reinforce or fill in your gums after receding. Tissue is usually taken from the roof of your mouth for this procedure.
Laughlin Dental for Your Healthiest Teeth and Gums
If your teeth are bleeding, sore, or inflamed, you need to see your dentist. Prevention is always the best dental treatment for gum disease. Lloyd Laughlin, DDS, and his Laughlin Dental team are ready to welcome you into their practice and ensure that you receive high-quality oral care.
Proudly serving Houston, Pasadena, Pearland, and Deer Park, our dental services include:
For your family’s healthiest teeth and gums, contact Laughlin Dental now at 281-864-0996. When you contact Laughlin Dental, you gain welcoming, compassionate, and highly experienced dental care your whole family needs.