Do you ever notice your gums bleeding after brushing or flossing? Many people do, but often they dismiss it as not a big deal. However, bleeding gums can be an early warning sign of gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the tissue and bone structure that surrounds teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to serious dental problems and put you at greater risk for other health issues.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that is full of bacteria and constantly forming on our teeth. Plaque can lead to gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease. This is what causes gums to bleed easily and become red and swollen. At this stage, the symptoms of periodontal disease are often reversible.
When plaque is not removed by brushing or flossing, it can harden to form tartar, which is much harder to get rid of. As a result, gingivitis may advance to become periodontitis, a more destructive form of gum disease that attacks the bone and gum tissue surrounding and supporting teeth. This loss of support can cause teeth to become loose.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is easiest to treat when it is detected and addressed early on. Talk to Dr. Adams if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Red, swollen gums that bleed easily.
- Discolored gums.
- Persistent bad breath.
- Teeth that feel loose.
- Gums pulling away from teeth.
How Can It Be Prevented?
There are steps you can take on your own to prevent gum disease, including brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day. Not smoking or chewing tobacco also lowers your risk of developing oral health problems. However, regular checkups with Dr. Heather Adams are also crucial to preventing and addressing any problems with your gums.
Schedule An Appointment
Dr. Adams is committed to helping you improve your oral health. She can help you develop a personalized treatment plan for preventing or addressing gum disease. To schedule an appointment, call (479) 431-4212 or request a new patient appointment online.