Have you ever had swollen and tender gums or been startled to see some hints of red in the sink after brushing? You’re not alone, as bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis. This early stage of gum disease—also known as periodontitis—is a common oral health issue. In fact, almost 50% of American adults over 30 years old have dealt with some form of gum disease, and that number increases to 70% for adults aged 65 and older. The good news is that gum disease can be prevented with proper oral hygiene and treated with various approaches.
Understanding Bleeding Gums
Why do gums bleed? Typically, bleeding gums are a sign of an early stage of gum disease. Gum disease—also known as periodontal disease—is an infection that leads to inflammation of your gums as well as other symptoms. You can imagine your mouth as a bustling city full of good and bad bacteria, all working day in and day out: The good bacteria work to defend your teeth and gums, freshen your breath, and aid in digestion, while the bad bacteria cause cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. But when bad bacteria aren’t removed, they fight with the good bacteria, leaving behind a messy substance called plaque. If not cleaned properly, that plaque is like a bad neighbor that affects the neighborhood, leading to soreness, redness, and bleeding gums.
How Bleeding Gums Progress to Gum Disease
Gum disease affects people in various ways, depending on the disease’s progression. It develops in stages:
- Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage. In addition to soreness and redness, you could see bleeding when you brush or floss, but the bone has not yet begun to recede from the tooth. Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene habits and regularly scheduled dental visits.
- Mild periodontitis: At this point, the bacteria in your mouth start to work a little harder, and your gums start to pull away from your teeth. This creates periodontal pockets that trap plaque and tartar where they can’t be reached by brushing or flossing.
- Moderate periodontitis: Now, the bacteria is getting serious. Your tissue, ligaments, and bones are all at risk. Your gums can become sore and tender, and pus may begin to form around the gumline.
- Advanced periodontitis: Here, the progression of the disease becomes even more intense. Gum and bone loss will continue, and your teeth may begin to loosen and even fall out. The infection in your gums can also develop into halitosis—aka chronic bad breath.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
Depending on how far your gum disease has progressed, Dr. Ferrari will recommend a few different treatment options:
- Professional cleanings: Regular, professional cleanings from Dr. Ferrari can help with many different oral health issues, especially in the early stages.
- Scaling and root planing: This is a deep and comprehensive cleaning of your teeth and gums. Like a thorough spring cleaning of your house, it reaches pockets of bacteria that regular maintenance does not.
- Medication: In some cases, medication is needed to control the proper levels of bacteria.
- Surgery: For advanced cases, surgery may be necessary to deal with the problem completely and return your smile to better health.
There are many treatments for gum disease, each tailored to address various stages of the infection. As a result, the cost of treatment will vary.
We understand that cost is always a concern with any medical procedure, but at Ferrari Dental, we work with you to maximize your insurance benefits. As a participating provider, we’re familiar with the insurance process and will help make sure you get the most out of your coverage. And if you’re uninsured, we partner with multiple finance companies to give you more payment options. We also offer an in-house savings program that can help you structure payments to fit your budget.
Prevention of Bleeding Gums
The best way to deal with gum disease is to prevent it before it has a chance to take root. Maintaining a diligent daily hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing will help prevent gum disease and reverse gingivitis. You should also monitor your sugar intake and keep up with your regular dental visits. These habits will keep bacteria under control and make sure your mouth remains healthy for years to come. Remember, a small change now can prevent a bigger issue down the road.
A Healthy, Happy Smile
If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease or are wondering what steps you can take to fix your bleeding gums, we’re here to help. Dr. Ferrari and the team of caring professionals at Ferrari Dental will give you an honest assessment and talk you through the best way to deal with your gum disease.
Don’t let fear or embarrassment hold you back from feeling healthy once again. Call Ferrari Dental to schedule your free consultation with us today. The first step towards a healthier you is just a phone call away.