Hard to believe, but research shows that up to 80 percent of adults in America have gum disease. Furthermore, the majority of this population probably doesn’t even know that they have this chronic bacterial infection. But with those kinds of odds, it’s important to know the signs of gum disease and how it can be prevented and treated. Read on to learn what a dentist in Orange Park has to say.
What are the Signs of Gum Disease?
One of the leading signs of early gum disease, which is known as gingivitis, may be right there on your toothbrush or in the sink. If you notice blood on the brush or in your spit, then gum disease may be present.
Bleeding gums happen when plaque is not routinely cleaned away. Plaque is that film that develops in your mouth each and every day. Trapped inside plaque are the bacteria that destroy healthy soft tissue around your teeth. Along with bleeding gums, you may also notice that your gums look more red than pink and that they’re a bit swollen.
What Should I Do if I see Bleeding Gums?
One thing is for certain—don’t stop brushing and flossing if your gums are bleeding! In fact, a more stringent at-home oral hygiene routine may be in order. At this point, you need to focus on removing plaque that has accumulated along your gum line. You don’t have to brush hard. Use a gentle touch with a soft bristle toothbrush and finish up with flossing.
What Happens if Plaque Is Not Removed?
Left in place, plaque begins to harden and becomes tartar. At this point, you may notice that your gums recede, making your teeth look longer. Also, pockets may form between your teeth and gums. Bacteria invade these pockets, attacking gum tissue and the bone structure underneath that supports your teeth.
At this point, gum disease has progressed to become periodontitis, a more serious bacterial infection that may not only compromise your oral health, but your general health, too. The bacteria that lead to periodontitis have also been linked to systemic illnesses and diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, depression and even pre-term birth.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Treatment is essential in order to reverse the effects of gum disease and stop the progress of infection. Depending on how advanced each case is, the dentist in Orange Park will recommend the appropriate course of treatment, which may be a deep cleaning, laser therapy or surgery.
If you’ve recently seen blood on your toothbrush, don’t delay. Contact a dentist in Orange Park for evaluation and treatment.
About the Dentist
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki is a general dentist and prosthodontist in Orange Park, Florida. He takes great pride in helping patients to regain healthy smiles. If you would like to talk to him about how you can enjoy of oral health, please contact our office at 904-602-8455.