September 15, 2019
Have you recently noticed blood in the sink after brushing your teeth? Maybe it has even happened a few days in a row? Many people whose gums bleed think they are just brushing too hard or that such bleeding is normal from time to time. However, the truth is that bleeding gums is a symptom of gingivitis – the earliest stage of gum disease – and a sign that you may need gum disease therapy in East Islip. September is National Gum Care Month, so what better time than now to learn about the warning signs of this common disease and what steps you can take to prevent it.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection caused by the bacteria in plaque. The disease attacks the tissues in the mouth that support teeth and, if left untreated, can eventually cause permanent damage – including tooth loss! In addition, gum disease has been linked to a whole host of serious health problems, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes and more.
As noted above, bleeding gums when brushing or flossing is a common symptom of the first stage of gum disease. Other symptoms include:
- Persistent bad breath
- Tender or inflamed gums
- Receding gums
- Bite problems due to shifting teeth
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
How to Prevent Gum Disease
If early warning signs are quickly noticed, preventing gum disease from progressing can be as easy as improving your flossing routine or changing how you brush at home.
However, since many of the early symptoms of gum disease are subtle, it can be difficult to notice them on your own. This is one reason why it is crucial that you visit a dentist in East Islip every six months for a routine dental exam. Biannual checkups are key to catching gum disease before it progresses and causes permanent damage to your mouth.
During every dental checkup, your dentist will:
- Check for bleeding gums, gum inflammation and other signs of periodontal disease
- Measure the depth of any pockets around the teeth
- Remove harmful plaque and tartar from your teeth
- Discuss risk factors (e.g., tobacco use) that can contribute to gum disease
How Can Technology Help Treat Gum Disease?
Once gum disease has set in, non-surgical treatment is required. Traditional gum disease therapy includes scaling and root planing, which removes hardened plaque below the gum line and reduces rough areas on teeth roots.
These days, advanced dental technologies such as diode lasers can also help comfortably treat gum disease. Precise and conservative compared to traditional therapies, laser treatment can remove and reduce gum infections and also safely reattach gum tissue to teeth. Many patients find laser therapy to be a comfortable form of treatment that does not require anesthesia.
Remember, fast action is key to preventing gum disease from developing or progressing! If you have bleeding gums in East Islip, contact your dentist today for a preventive checkup.
About the Author
Dr. Gary Rosenfeld has over 35 years of experience helping patients in East Islip and surrounding communities achieve and maintain healthy smiles. The Bay Shore native leverages the latest in innovative dental technologies for the benefit of the individuals and families in his care. To learn more about periodontal disease and preventive care, visit the East Islip Dental Care website or call Dr. Rosenfeld at 631-581-8600.
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