April 16, 2017
You’re done with brushing and flossing, and you see a little pinkness in the sink. Is that blood? If you’re bleeding a little bit after cleaning your teeth, you could very well have gum disease. If this goes untreated for too long, you could lose your teeth.
Call us at 816-399-5539 to schedule nonsurgical gum disease treatments at our Kansas City, MO dental office. Dr. Stiver and Dr. Cummings are both well trained in helping you keep your gums healthy.
What Is Gum Disease?
Did you know that cavities are caused by harmful bacteria and not sugar? Everyone has some of those bacteria in their mouths, and they feed on sugar and carbs. But these bacteria can cause another problem: gum disease.
This is when your gum tissues are irritated, damaged, and eventually infected by those bacteria. Gum disease comes in two stages.
- Gingivitis: In this early stage, the bacteria live on the surface of your gums. They produce an acid which starts to irritate your gums, making them tender and easy to bleed. That’s why you can see blood in the sink after brushing your teeth; your gums are so sore and tender that even a toothbrush can cut them open. With gingivitis, you often have bad breath as well.
- Periodontitis: This is the advanced stage of gum disease. Here, those harmful bacteria have gotten below the surface and infected your gums. Problems with soreness and bad breath can just get worse.
That’s why you need to call our Kansas City, MO dental office today at 816-399-5539. Early detection through our dental exams is the key to preventing gingivitis from turning into periodontitis.
Untreated Gum Disease Can Get Bad
Since the early signs of gum disease (tenderness, halitosis, a little blood in the sink) are easy to ignore, many people don’t get treatment for their gum disease. Here are several reasons why that’s a very bad idea.
DARK, BLEEDING GUMS
As the harmful bacteria hurt your gums, they start to bleed. That usually starts out only happening when you brush, but eventually, you could taste blood in your mouth most of the day. Your gums can also darken, turning from a pinkish color to dark red or even black.
The acid produced by those bacteria does more than just irritate your gums. It starts to kill the cells in your gum tissue. As they die off, they start to smell like anything would. This gives you bad breath (or halitosis) that you can’t get rid of. Even chewing gum and mouthwash is only temporary because the odor isn’t from what you ate — it’s from your gums.
Once your gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, the bacteria have infected your gum tissues. Since there are blood vessels there, the infection can easily slip into your bloodstream and get carried all over your body. Your immune system will fight it, giving you problems with inflammation, but eventually, some bacteria will get through and infect other parts of your body.
As gum disease gets worse, your gums start to pull away from your teeth. That’s because they’re under attack by those bacteria. Eventually, gum disease will also cause your jawbone to deteriorate. When receding gums and weak jawbone meet, you get loose teeth. You can even start to have your teeth fall out.
Gum Disease Treatments
At our Kansas City, MO dental office, our dentists are highly trained and experienced in using gum disease treatment to protect your gums and your teeth.
In most cases, root planing and scaling can work wonders. This is a deep cleaning method that removes plaque, tartar, and the bacteria living there from at and below your gumline. This can help stop the irritation and damage to your gum tissue.
In advanced cases, you can be referred to a gum specialist (called a periodontist) for possible oral surgery.
Call us TODAY at 816-399-5539 or use our convenient online form to schedule your next appointment for gum disease treatment. The longer you wait, the better chance your gum disease will get too far and start to take out your teeth.