Have you ever flossed and brushed your teeth and seen blood? Why does that happen? Is it a sign of something wrong? Do you ignore it? Do you panic?
Bleeding may seem minor however it can lead to serious oral health issues, including tooth loss. Seeking medical attention is an integral part of ensuring that you have done all you can to avoid gum disease early on. More than 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease. Gum disease can have complications that significantly increases the risk of tooth loss.
What is Gum Disease? Gum disease or periodontal disease is bacterial growth and production of factors that gradually destroy the tissue that supports and surrounds the teeth. Plaque is the beginning of gum disease as it forms on teeth and can harden into tartar. Our mouths are full of bacteria and once we have tartar, only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove it.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Sensitive teeth
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums or teeth that appear longer
How can gum disease lead to tooth loss?
- Gum Recession: When the gums recede, the teeth are exposed to bacteria and acid which increases the risk of tooth decay and tooth loss.
- Pocket Formation: When plaque, tartar, and food debris settle at the gum line pockets develop between the gums and teeth. The pockets will grow and eventually plaque and tartar will get to the roots and structures that support the teeth, which can lead to loss of teeth.
- Tooth Decay: This is a common complication of gum disease and can increase the risk of tooth decay at or below the gum line. If the roots of the tooth experience decay, the tooth will be at great risk of having its blood vessels damaged. The blood vessels nourish the teeth, so if they are damaged, the tooth can die.
- Infection: As many infections do, gum disease infections can spread. In the case of gum disease, the infection can spread to the jawbone. If the structures that support the teeth become damaged, the teeth may fall out.
If you have an infection or have lost teeth, we highly encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Carlson. Dr. Craig Carlson can advise you on the best methods of ensuring you a healthy mouth with a beautiful smile.