There is a wide spectrum of periodontal disease, ranging from gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) to periodontitis (disease of the gum, bone and other support structures of the tooth). Bleeding gums is one of the most common signs of developing gum disease. Getting treatment for gingivitis early is important to avoid serious problems associated with periodontitis such as tooth loss.
Gum disease is progressive and often considered a “silent disease” because so many patients do not realize they have a problem until they come in for dental care or begin experiencing the complex symptoms associated with advanced disease such as loose teeth, receding gums and changes in the fit of the bite. Recognizing the stages and common signs of gum disease can help you seek early treatment and avoid permanent damage to the gums or the teeth.
- Gingivitis: early-stage gum disease is often characterized by gums that bleed, increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperature and red, swollen gums. Treating gingivitis can halt the progression of gum disease and restore gum health without the need for invasive treatment.
- Periodontitis: advanced gum disease leads to the development of pockets along the gum line where diseased tissue is pulling away from the tooth structure. This eventually leads to shifting teeth, loose teeth and changes in the fit or function of the bite.
Common reasons for bleeding gums:
- Aggressive brushing and/or flossing
- Certain medications (such as blood thinners)
- Pregnancy gingivitis
- Gum disease
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
Gingivitis is reversible and preventable. Your dentist can recommend changes to your daily oral care routine that can help to cut down on the amount of plaque accumulating along the gum line. Prescription mouthwashes can also be used to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Some patients who have persistent gingivitis may need to visit the dentist every three to four months for professional cleanings that can further reduce plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
- Scaling and root planing: A thorough cleaning of all surfaces. Scaling and root planing can treat gingivitis and early stages of periodontitis to remove built-up plaque and tartar, allowing gum tissues to heal.
- Laser dentistry: soft tissue lasers can be used to remove damaged tissue and stimulate the body’s natural healing process. You can expect minimal discomfort and side effects.
- Oral surgery: for treating the effects of advanced periodontitis, oral surgery may be needed. We will remove damaged, and possibly replace tissue to stabilize teeth that are loose.
Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists for a periodontal screening and evaluation of your gum disease treatment options. Call (410) 989-8298 or request an appointment online.