Periodontal (Gum) Therapy FAQ's:


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Why do my gums bleed?
Most bleeding gums are caused by plaque (bacterial) accumulation at the gum line.  The inflammation leads to swelling bleeding and redness.  It is often the first sign of gum disease that people notice.  If your gums bleed when you brush and floss you should see your dentist or periodontist for an evaluation and treatment.  Excellent brushing techniques can eliminate bleeding but if there is periodontal pockets around the teeth they need treatment as well.  Brushing and flossing alone will not halt periodontitis.

Does diabetes affect my gums?
Patients with undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes are at higher risk of serious gum disease than a non-diabetic patient.  The signs of periodontal disease especially aggressive periodontitis and abscesses may even lead to a diagnosis of diabetes or impaired glucose metabolism by the dentist.  Those with well controlled diabetes will respond to treatment in the same way as non-diabetic patients. 

Does gum disease cause bad breath?
The types of bacteria that cause gum diseases are the same as those that cause the majority of cases of bad breath.  Most bad breath (halitosis) is caused by bacterial colonies growing on the back of the tongue.  Gum disease can also contribute to halitosis and in addition to periodontal treatment and plaque control the use of a tongue scraper/brush can significantly improve halitosis.

Is the treatment painful?
No, the treatment is painless.

Should I use a mouthwash?
Physical disruption of the plaque film at the gum line all around the teeth is the most important home care regimen.  Some patients find the use of mouthwashes in conjunction with excellent brushing and flossing helps maintain healthy tissues.  It is best to discuss individual needs with your dentist or periodontist and ask their advice as to what additional products may be helpful for you.

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