More than 3 out of 4 Americans suffer from periodontal disease. Most people have the less serious form, gingivitis. Between 5% and 15% of Americans suffer from the more serious, advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis.
Bleeding gums is just one of the common signs of gum disease. If you have bleeding gums or other signs of gum disease, contact our dentist in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Doray for a periodontal screening and treatment.
Causes of Gingivitis or Gum Disease
Poor oral hygiene habits, is the number one cause of periodontal disease. When you do not practice proper dental hygiene, including brushing, flossing and visit the dentist regularly, this allows plaque to form and build up on the teeth. This will eventually harden and turn into tartar which can cause the gums to become inflamed and begin to bleed or feel sore.
If gingivitis is caught early, it can be treated and even reversed. If left untreated, however, it progresses into gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in the gums that causes bone degradation, swollen and painful gums, and potential tooth loss.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Many people with gingivitis do not experience any pain or symptoms. It is important to know the symptoms of gingivitis so that you are able to catch the condition early:
- Changes in the way the teeth fit together
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Bleeding gums during or after brushing
- Shifting teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Receding gums
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Taking care of your teeth and gums is the sole way to prevent gingivitis or gum disease:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily
- Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid sugary, starchy foods
- Drink plenty of water
- Quit tobacco: cigarettes or any other form of tobacco
- If your teeth and gums or sensitive, avoid very hot or very cold foods or beverages
- Relax: stress can cause inflammation in the body, including in the gums
Treatment for Gum Disease
Over-the-counter or at-home remedies for bleeding gums are not a viable solution and gingivitis or gum disease should always be treated by a dentist. Depending on the condition of your gums, Dr. Doray can perform several treatment options.
Treatment for gingivitis is relatively simple. Plaque is removed from the teeth and gums through a dental cleaning. Antibacterial rinses may be recommended and patients are advised to follow the prevention tips.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease Treatment
If you have the advanced form of gum disease, Dr. Doray may need to perform more intensive treatments. These include root planing and scaling to remove bacteria from deep pockets of the gums. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.
In some cases, crook or misaligned teeth, ill-fitting crowns or bridges, or other dental restorations can make it difficult to reach built up plaque or tartar and irritate the gums. If any of these are contributing to your gingivitis or bleeding gums, Dr. Dory will recommend correcting these issues with the appropriate restorative dentistry treatment.
Bleeding Gums FAQs
How long does gum disease take to heal?
After a few days of treatment, you might expect to see some improvement, but it may take some time for symptoms to entirely go away. Typically, gingivitis disappears within 10 to 14 days in most patients. As the disease progresses, it may become increasingly difficult to treat.
Does gum disease last forever?
If you don’t get treatment for periodontitis, it could last a lifetime. Periodontitis will worsen and progress if it is not treated. Call our office right away if you have any signs of periodontitis.
Is gum disease painful?
A buildup of plaque, a film of germs that adheres to teeth and hardens, is often the cause of periodontal disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause bleeding gums, painful chewing problems, and even tooth loss in the most severe cases. It can be painful as it progresses.
Can gum disease come back?
Plaque on the teeth and gums is the root cause of periodontal disease, and even after periodontal therapy, plaque will re-accumulate on the teeth and gums. Two to four months following treatment, periodontal disease can return if you do not revamp your oral care routine.
Why do I grind my teeth during the day?
Bruxism during the daytime is linked to stress and anxiety. Stress at work might cause people to subconsciously clench or grind their teeth. This wears down your teeth and causes headaches and stiffness in your jaw over time.
How can I strengthen my gums?
The best way to strengthen your gums is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing daily is also important. We recommend scheduling regular dental appointments and refraining from smoking as well.
Dr. Pamela Doray is welcoming new patients in Philadelphia County and surrounding communities. Call us at (215) 395-6076, or schedule a consultation online to determine the best type of treatment for you.