If your gums are unusually tender and red, or if flossing causes your gums to swell and bleed, you may be suffering from periodontal disease (gum disease).
This is quite common - three out of four adults are diagnosed with periodontal disease each year. Nearly 70 percent of adult tooth loss can be attributed to gum disease. Many people are surprised to learn that untreated periodontal disease increases many health risks, including stroke, some ulcers and heart disease.
Periodontal disease is caused by an excessive build-up of bacterial plaque on the teeth. As the plaque hardens, toxins are released from the bacteria, causing the gums (soft tissue) to become irritated. The soft tissue around the teeth becomes increasingly damaged with the progression of the disease, as does the bones (hard tissue), that supports the teeth.
Gum disease can be controlled if the appropriate treatment measures are taken in a timely manner. When the diease is in it's early stages we typically are able to treat the disease in a non-surgical manner. However, if the disease is advanced, surgical treatment by the periodontist may be necessary.
The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the bleeding and inflammation of the gingival (gum) tissues. It is the only reversible stage of gum disease if treat at the first signs and symptoms. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss you should schedule an appointment for an exam and evaluation so we can help you get your mouth back to a healthy condition.