Gums that bleed during daily brushing and flossing can be an early sign of gum disease, evidence that the gum tissue has become infected and irritated by harmful bacteria. Left untreated, gum disease will continue to advance and can cause permanent damage to the teeth and gums. Gum disease affects 75% of the adult population and remains the leading cause of tooth loss.
Atlanta dentist Dr. Maria Benefield provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for gum disease to restore your oral health. Maintaining healthy gums is an important part of our preventive dental care program and Dr. Benefield and her staff monitor the gum health of their patients as part of routine dental exams. Healthy gums support healthy teeth and also play an important role in overall good health and well being, serving as a barrier for harmful bacteria that can enter the bloodstream.
Common Signs of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease has two stages, but most patients are not aware of its presence until the second stage when complex dental health concerns begin to surface.
Understanding and recognizing the common signs of gum disease can play an important role in early detection and effective treatment, reducing the need for extensive dentistry to repair damaged teeth and gums.
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen gums
- Changes in the fit of dental appliances
- Persistent bad breath
- Sensitive gums
- Shifting teeth
Treatment For Gum Disease
Routine dental care provides the opportunity to spot gum disease in the early stages and provide conservative, effective treatment. Treatment options can include:
- Dental cleanings: for very mild gingivitis, a thorough dental cleaning may be effective. In some cases, Dr. Benefield may recommend an additional professional dental cleaning during the year for patients with recurring gum disease.
- Scaling and root planing: this intensive cleaning will remove the plaque built up along the gum line and in pockets of the gums to allow the affected areas to heal.
- Gum surgery: if damage from advanced periodontitis is extensive, Dr. Benefield may coordinate care with a local periodontist for the best result.