What is it?
Bleeding gum therapy is a comprehensive approach that our certified dental hygienists take towards treating gum disease. This therapy is comprised of scaling, root planing, and polishing, and is tailored towards the degree of gum disease that a patient is experiencing (i.e., from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis).
Gingivitis (Mild Gum Disease)
When plaque and tartar remain on teeth for too long, it leads to irritation, redness, and swelling of your gums. This is because the bacteria found in plaque and tartar infect the surrounding gum tissue. If it is not treated promptly, bacteria may spread to the surrounding tissue and bone, leading to a more severe stage of gum disease called periodontitis (see below). Gingivitis can be treated by regularly brushing, flossing, and cleaning appointments with a dental hygienist.
Periodontitis (Advanced Gum Disease)
Periodontitis is the most harmful and destructive stage of gum disease. When gingivitis has not been properly managed, the gums will start to recede from the tooth and form infected “pockets.” Our immune system attempts to repress the bacteria as the plaque spreads further below the gum line, which leads to further recession of the gums, tooth decay, tooth loss, and bone loss.
When is it needed?
The American Dental Association estimates that 60% of adults have moderate-to-severe forms of gum disease. Often, a mild case can go unnoticed, but identification is crucial to prevent the gum disease from worsening. If you know the signs and symptoms of gum disease, you can be proactive and get the necessary treatment approach for managing and improving your oral health. These signs and symptoms include:
- Receding gum line
- Swollen, tender, dark red gums
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Painful chewing
- Loose or sensitive teeth
- Bone loss
How is it done?
For bleeding gum therapy, plaque and tartar are removed using a non-surgical, comprehensive cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling involves scraping off the plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, while root planing removes rough spots on the roots of the teeth – a common location where germs and bacteria like to gather. Following the scaling and root planing, the teeth are polished using a high-efficacy polishing paste, which removes stain from the teeth and leaves them feeling smooth and looking whiter. Bleeding gum therapy, as well as regular dental cleanings, will continue on a three, four, or six month basis depending on the dental hygienists recommendations.