Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth? If so, you’re not alone. By some estimates, more than 75 percent of American adults over age 35 get gum disease, which is the primary cause of bleeding gums. In this article, we offer a brief summary of gum disease and what you can do about it.
What Is Gum Disease and What Causes It?
Gum disease (the technical name is periodontal disease) is an inflammation of the gums that typically results from poor oral hygiene. It’s normal for a sticky film of bacteria called “plaque” to form on teeth, but if it’s not effectively removed it can cause gums to loosen, forming pockets in which more bacteria can collect. Plaque that is not removed becomes hardened into a form that can only be removed by professional cleaning. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause loss of teeth and even loss of bone.
Treatment Options for Gum Disease
If you have gum disease, the treatment options depend on how severe it is. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It is characterized by red and swollen gums that bleed easily. Gingivitis may be reversed with a professional cleaning and more regular daily care at home.
The advanced state of gum disease is called periodontitis. It is characterized by destruction of tissue and bone around your teeth, which can lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis requires deep cleanings that go below the gum line. At Litton Family Dental, we also offer Arestin® antibiotic treatment which helps stop the bacteria that causes the disease.
How You Can Prevent Gum Disease
As the old saying goes, “prevention is the best medicine.” The same applies in this case. The best cure for gum disease is to avoid getting it! And that requires proper dental hygiene. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do that can help prevent gum disease.
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Clean between your teeth with floss or another interdental cleaner once every day.
- Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Schedule a regular dental checkup and professional cleaning.
“Modern Dentistry, Old-Time Care”
That’s our motto here at Litton Family Dental, because we combine the most advanced dental care with old-fashioned personal service. If your gums bleed, don’t wait until it gets worse. Give us a call and set up an appointment today!Contact Us