Gums play a major role not only in your dental health, but in your overall well-being. In many instances, swollen and bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. When people don’t practice proper dental hygiene, bacteria in the mouth forms plaque on the teeth. These bacteria may cause your gums to become inflamed, which results in red, swollen, or bleeding gums. If we treat gingivitis early, it can be reversed and healed with proper oral hygiene. Be sure to see your dentist if you have the following symptoms, even if you don’t have any discomfort:
- gums that bleed during and after tooth-brushing
- persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- receding gums
- red, swollen, or tender gums
- loose or shifting teeth
When gingivitis progresses, it develops into periodontitis, a condition in which the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place can be severely weakened. The bacteria on the teeth release toxic substances destroying the attachment between the teeth and the bone, leading to infection. The infection and the inflammation that result when your body attacks the bacteria can degrade your gums and the bone in your jaw even further. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
What are your treatment options?
The main goal of treatment is to eliminate and control the cause of the infection. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease.
If on examination you do have gum disease, the dentist will remove the plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease.
Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home which includes:-
- Brushing your teeth twice a day.
- Flossing regularly to remove plaque from between teeth. Or using a special brush or wooden or plastic pick recommended by your dentist.
- Visiting the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning.
- Assessing any systemic disease that may be contributing to the problem, including diabetes.