Periodontal (Gum) Disease is a leading cause of tooth loss and may be associated with other chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and pregnancy problems. According to the American Dental Association, most adults have some form of gum disease and do not even realize it.
Dr. Michael Mulkey performs a periodontal screening as part of routine preventive care to spot gum disease in the early stage when conservative treatment is most effective.
Types of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage.
Some people are more susceptible to gingivitis. Family history, eating habits and oral hygiene practices can all contribute to gingivitis. Other factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.
Inflammation of the gums is a common symptom of gingivitis. This can appear as quickly as five days after the first exposure. Generalized gingivitis typically worsens within two to three weeks. As time progresses without treatment this may lead to mild periodontal disease.
The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. However, gum disease is irreversible in its second and third stages. At these points we can only stop the progression of the disease, as previous damage is permanent.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed.
As gums separate from the teeth, pockets form. These spaces between the teeth and gums can eventually become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed.
Surprisingly, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Gum Disease Treatment in Marietta, GA
How is gum disease treated? Depending on the stage and severity of gum disease, we offer several treatment option at Lost Mountain Dental. In some cases, patients may restore gum health with a thorough dental cleaning and follow up care at home.
For patients with gingivitis, a procedure called scaling and root planing is often recommended for removing plaque from deep pockets of the gums and along the gum line. This intense cleaning is aimed at removing the build up of plaque and smoothing the tooth roots for the regeneration of healthy gum tissue to restore oral health.
Patients with more severe gum disease may require laser dentistry or gum surgery to remove diseased tissue and stabilize the teeth and gums.
Gum Disease Risk Factors
Are you at risk for gum disease? In fact, everyone is at risk for developing gum disease, although certain factors can greatly increase this risk and contribute to advanced gum disease and tooth loss.
Plaque is the main cause of gum disease, but there are also a variety of risk factors associated with gum disease. Understanding them can help patients with prevention.
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Genetic predisposition
- Stress and possible associated teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- Poor nutrition
- Systemic diseases
Discuss your health history and risk factor concerns with Dr. Mulkey at your next dental visit to learn more about long term prevention.
Gum Disease FAQs
What causes bleeding when brushing teeth?
Patients may notice their gums begin to bleed when brushing teeth. This is due to irritated, swollen, or sensitive gums. Patients’ gums may also bleed due to plaque buildup around their gum line.
When should I be concerned about bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums is not uncommon and can be caused by a variety of things, some more concerning than others. If gums persistently bleed, almost every time you brush, then it is a good idea to schedule a dental visit to address what may be causing the issue.
Can stress cause gum bleeding?
Stress can cause a patient’s immune system to be compromised. This may cause gums to become inflamed. Stress lowers the body’s ability to fight off infections, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
Is periodontal treatment covered by my dental insurance?
Most dental insurance plans can cover part or all of the cost of gum disease treatments, gingivitis treatments, and treatment for bleeding gums. Contact your dental insurance provider for more information. Periodontal therapy is a restorative treatment option. Gum disease treatment helps you maintain excellent oral health.
Will periodontal treatment for gum disease hurt?
No. We make sure you are fully comfortable before, during, and after treatment. The most common treatment is Scaling and Root Planning, which is similar to a deep massage for your gums.
Does gum disease go away on its own?
No. Your bleeding gums can be treated at home or at the dentist. Although gum disease, and any progression of it, has to be treated at the dentist office in order to completely cure your issue. Visit our Marietta dentist office for gum disease treatment today.
Can stress cause bleeding gums?
Long-term stress has been shown to weaken the immune system. This lowers your body’s ability to fight infections. As a result, you have an increased risk of several dental issues, including bleeding and inflamed gums.