Greensboro dentist addresses common misconceptions about gum disease
Many dental patients believe that bleeding gums is common and that a “little pink in the sink” is nothing to worry about. While it is common and often pain-free, it’s not something to ignore. Bleeding gums are a common symptom of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.
Dr. Steven L. Hatcher cautions patients not to avoid or ignore the early warning signs of gum disease as it often requires treatment or dedicated care to stop and reverse the progression. If left unattended the gingivitis can turn into full-blown gum disease that can require more invasive types of restorative care.
Common signs of gingivitis include red or inflamed gums, gums that bleed during brushing or flossing, or bad breath that doesn’t go away. More advanced levels of gum disease have more obvious symptoms such as a receding gum line or teeth that appear to be longer.
Gum disease that is caught earlier is much easier to treat. If caught at the gingivitis stage, gum disease can be reversed through better dental care and use of prescription mouthwash. However, if the gum disease progresses, patients could need further treatment such as a deep cleaning, where the dental team uses special tools to clean the teeth both above and below the gum line, or oral surgery that involves lifting the gum away to completely clean the infection and then sewing it tightly back into place.
The good news for many patients is that gum disease can be prevented. Gum disease begins when bacteria, tartar, and plaque begin to build and grow around the gum line. This can lead to an infection below the gums that causes a pocket to form between the gums and the teeth. This infection is what causes your gums to swell, become red, bleed, or begin to deteriorate. Brushing and flossing are vital in the prevention of gum disease because those habits help to eliminate the bacteria from the surface of the teeth.
If you live in the Greensboro, NC, area and suspect that you have gum disease, don’t ignore it hoping that it will get better on its own. Call the office of Dr. Steven L. Hatcher today. He can examine your mouth to determine if you are facing gum disease and then determine the best treatment path.