Wouldn’t it be dreadful if you went to wash your hands at the sink, only to discover that your fingers were bleeding for no apparent reason? Naturally, you’d seek treatment as quickly as possible. When you think about it this way, it becomes even more baffling that people whose gums bleeds will often delay pursuing …
Wouldn’t it be dreadful if you went to wash your hands at the sink, only to discover that your fingers were bleeding for no apparent reason? Naturally, you’d seek treatment as quickly as possible. When you think about it this way, it becomes even more baffling that people whose gums bleeds will often delay pursuing treatment—if they seek answers at all. Unfortunately, says Dr. Jim Erpenbach, this is a common occurrence. Dr. Erpenbach, who treats gum disease in Knoxville, TN, addresses two very common, very misguided myths about bleeding gums and their consequences.
The Basics of Periodontal Disease
We cannot overstate the importance of seeking treatment in a timely manner. Gum disease begins as gingivitis, an infection of the gums that begins with relatively painless symptoms. Patients commonly report noticing a small amount of blood on their toothbrush or floss, or they see that their gum tissue is no longer pink; infected gums appear swollen, red, and inflamed.
Other warning signs include the need to brush and use mints more frequently to cover chronic bad breath, a sour or bitter taste lingering in your mouth, loose teeth, or teeth that have fallen out altogether. Dr. Erpenbach points out that gum disease is responsible for the majority of lost teeth among adults in America. If you wear dentures and notice a change in the way they fit, this too is a potential red flag. Worse still, there have been several studies confirming the link between the health of your gums and the health of your heart, mind, and entire body.
Myth: Periodontal disease only affects older adults.
Fact: Anyone can develop gum infections, regardless of age.
Dr. Erpenbach confirms that periodontal disease is a major concern for older adults, but he adds that no age group is immune. He cites the American Academy of Periodontology, which estimates that up to half of American men and women age 30 and older have the most severe form of the disease, called periodontitis.
Myth: Gum infections will eventually clear up on their own.
Fact: Unlike the common cold and other infections, periodontal disease does not resolve itself. It takes your diligent hygiene efforts and periodontal treatment from your dentist to treat infections and prevent damage to your gums and jawbone. Early detection and treatment is critical because the effects of gingivitis are reversible. Once the disease progresses into its advanced stage, alternative treatment may be needed to restore the teeth and gums. If tooth loss occurs, you will need to consider dental prosthetics, such as implants, dentures, or a bridge.
An exception is menstrual gingivitis, a temporary form of the disease that recurs just prior to or during menses. Because the symptoms last only a few days, this type of gingivitis does not generally produce harmful or irreversible damages. However, pregnancy gingivitis can be more severe and requires intervention to protect both the mother and her baby.
About Your Knoxville Dentist
Questions about treating bleeding gums? To learn more about periodontal disease treatment in Knoxville, TN, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Erpenbach, contact us at 865.240.2035. We welcome patients living in Knoxville and the surrounding communities.