Gum Disease Treatment for St. Louis, MO Patients of All Ages
Have you noticed bleeding gums while brushing or flossing your teeth? You could be brushing too hard, not using the right kind of toothbrush, or not brushing and flossing often enough for effective oral care. You could have ill-fitting dentures or inflamed gums due to pregnancy. Bleeding gums are also the top sign of periodontal (gum) disease, gingivitis, and other dental concerns that should be checked out by your dentist. If you’re worried about gum disease in St. Louis, MO, West County Dental is here to help. We treat patients of all ages throughout West County, from St. Louis to Chesterfield. Please contact our team today to reserve a visit at your earliest convenience.
What Causes Gum Infections and Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Bacteria in your mouth can wreak havoc if they’re not kept at bay with proper oral hygiene. Not only can bacteria and plaque buildup cause cavities and tooth decay, but they can also cause gum infections and gum disease marked by inflamed, red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. There are varying stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, causing inflammation that isn’t always painful or noticeable, while periodontitis is the most severe type. If left undetected and untreated, periodontal disease can cause long-term damage to your oral tissues and jawbone, followed by eventual tooth loss. Regular dental cleanings and taking care of your teeth and gums are your best defense in the fight against gum disease.
What Are Common Signs of Gingivitis and Gum Disease?
Sometimes, certain medications (blood thinners) and medical treatments (chemotherapy) can cause bleeding gums without a person having gum disease. Gum infections may be linked to other severe health issues, such as diabetes. When a person struggles with the high blood sugar levels caused by diabetes, it can be difficult for the body to heal itself from infections, leading to worsening symptoms. Bleeding gums have also been linked to types of cancer, including leukemia, and bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease. Always get this symptom checked out – it could save your teeth and even your life. Contact your dentist immediately for an exam and treatment if you notice any of these common signs of gingivitis and gum disease:
- Bleeding or Receding Gums
- Persistent Bad Breath or Taste in Your Mouth
- Tenderness or Discomfort
- Loose Teeth
- Change in Your Bite (How Your Teeth Fit Together)
How Does a Dentist Usually Treat Periodontal Disease?
Dr. Pete Spalitto and our trusted professional dental hygienists at West County Dental provide effective periodontal disease treatment. If you have a history of gum disease or a chronic condition like diabetes, we may recommend visiting us more often for scaling and cleaning to remove plaque buildup along or below your gumline. If you suffer from severe gum infection, we may prescribe an antibiotic medication before treatment. Advanced periodontitis may require bone grafting or oral surgery to correct receding gums.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Periodontal Disease?
When you think about oral care, you’re likely focused on cavity prevention. However, it’s essential to pay just as much attention to your gums. Your gums are sensitive tissue, so you need to brush and floss with care. Whether you prefer a manual or electric toothbrush, be sure to select one with soft bristles. Using a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles can cause gum irritation and tooth enamel damage over time. Always brush with a gentle, circular motion to massage your gums. Brushing in a back-and-forth motion can also cause preventable irritation and make your gums more likely to bleed. When flossing, try to gently follow your teeth’s natural curves instead of forcefully flossing between them. Dr. Spalitto recommends rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, flossing, and brushing twice daily in-between regular dental checkups and cleanings with our professional dental hygienists. We encourage you to talk to our team about periodontal disease prevention in greater detail during your next visit.
Have Bleeding or Receding Gums? Schedule an Appointment!
If you’ve been experiencing bleeding or swollen gums, or any other dental concerns, you needn’t be afraid to visit the dentist. Dr. Spalitto and the rest of our team at West County Dental want to ensure your comfort during all procedures at our St. Louis practice, including periodontal disease treatment. Our practice offers complimentary Wi-Fi, wireless headphones, pillows, and sedation dentistry options. If you’re a new patient, you’ll find our patient forms, payment and financing options, oral health frequently asked questions, and helpful links listed in our new patient resources. Please reach out to us and reserve your visit with our caring, experienced team today!