Bleeding gums (Periodontal Disease)

Bleeding gums are not normal.
This problem should be attended to. It is one of the signs of periodontal disease.

What is Periodontal Disease (gum disease)?

Periodontal disease affects the supporting tissues of the tooth – the periodontal ligament, the gingiva (gums), alveolar bone (supporting bone) and the cementum (root surface of tooth). Gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.

The condition begins as inflammation of the gum margin with redness, swelling and bleeding on brushing, a stage known as gingivitis. Without adequate attention gingivitis may slowly give way to chronic periodontitis in which the bone and the fibres below the gum which support the tooth are progressively attacked (usually without pain). This may lead to eventual loosening and finally loss of the tooth.

Cause of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is caused by dental plaque (Biofilm), a soft almost invisible layer of BACTERIA which forms on the teeth and is present in all mouths. Any irregularity around the teeth will encourage accumulation of plaque by making tooth cleaning difficult eg. crooked teeth, overhanging edges of fillings, poorly contoured fillings, some types of partial dentures and calculus. Calculus of tartar is calcified plaque. It has a rough surface which is impossible to clean thoroughly. As the condition progresses, the natural shallow crevice between the gum margin and the tooth enlarges to form a periodontal pocket in which plaque accumulates causing further destruction.

Will I lose my teeth?

Advanced periodontitis if left untreated will result in the loosening of teeth and eventually tooth loss. You should not lose teeth - you can keep them for life if treatment is sought in the earlier stages. Bleeding gums, red gums, swollen gums should not be ignored – the problem will not go away. These are signs that signal that all is not well. It is not normal to have bleeding gums. Seek periodontal (gum) treatment.

Periodontal Disease and Cardiovascular (heart) Disease and Stroke

Studies have been shown that severe periodontal disease is a risk factor for cardiovascular (heart) disease especially in men as well as for stroke. The importance of treating periodontal disease is therefore of significant important as it will affect your health.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

Untreated periodontal disease is like having a big sore or wound. Diabetics need to have their periodontal disease treated. Infections should not be present. The surface area of the gums is about the size of your palm. A sore / wound of this size will affect your control of diabetes.

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