August 19, 2015

oral checkup - bleeding gumsIf you suffer from bleeding gums, it might not seem like such a big deal. In fact, you might be thinking, “Doesn’t everyone have that problem?” Well, not exactly. Bleeding gums are not “normal.” They are actually a symptom of gingivitis, which is an early form of gum disease.

Unfortunately, about half of adults in the US suffer from gum disease, and many of them are unaware of how harmful it can be. That is why we have identified 5 important reasons that you should seek treatment for your bleeding gums.

1. Gum Disease Worsens If Left Untreated

As we mentioned, gum disease in its early stages is referred to as “gingivitis.” Gingivitis is an infection, and it is mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. Fortunately, gingivitis is easily reversible with the proper care. Not sure if you have gingivitis? Bleeding gums are just one symptom. Other common gum disease symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen, receding, or tender gums
  • Mouth sores
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose, separating teeth

If left untreated, these symptoms will worsen as the infection progresses. Gingivitis then becomes periodontal disease, which can cause damaged gum tissue and bone loss. Ultimately, teeth may fall out or require extraction.

2. Early Treatment Reduces the Need for Surgery

Mild gum disease can be treated with scaling and root planing. In this procedure, we apply a local anesthetic before using an ultrasonic scaler to gently and painlessly remove bacteria and tartar that sits just below the gum line.

While Dr. Alger always tries to use the least-invasive gum disease treatment possible, more advanced cases might require surgery. Early treatment can help you avoid surgical procedures, such as tissue grafts and bone regeneration.

3. Health Complications Can Develop

Unfortunately, gum disease does not only affect your mouth. It can also have a negative impact on your overall health. For instance, people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. Gum disease has also been linked to diabetes and strokes. Do not let gum disease control your life and your health. By taking good care of your mouth, you are helping yourself enjoy a healthier and longer life!

4. Increased Risks During Pregnancy

If you are currently pregnant or planning a pregnancy in the near future, it is very important to have your bleeding gums checked out. The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can worsen the symptoms of gum disease.

Furthermore, researchers have discovered a link between premature births and gingivitis. It is believed that excessive bacteria caused from gingivitis enters the bloodstream through the gums, travels to the uterus, and then triggers labor-inducing chemicals.

5. Ignoring Gum Disease Is More Expensive than Treating It

When gum disease is caught early on, it is easily reversible and far less likely to result in other medical complications. However, the worse it progresses, the greater the likelihood that you may require surgery and other more expensive dental treatments.

Again, as mentioned earlier, gum disease is associated with heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and premature labor. These medical concerns also cost money in the form of out-of-pocket doctor payments and missed work.

The question that you should be asking yourself is, “How can I afford NOT to have my gum disease treated?”

OK, I am convinced. How do I schedule an appointment?

It is easy to set up an appointment with our periodontist, Dr. Alger. Simply call our Columbus office at 614.478.7757 OR click here to request an appointment online.