Periodontist in Alexandria | Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

If you have sensitive gums and are used to seeing a bit of blood in the sink after brushing or flossing, it may be a sign of gingivitis, a progressive gum disease. In fact, gum disease is the leading culprit behind bleeding gums; research shows that one in two Americans have some form of gum disease, and left untreated, this condition can lead to serious health concerns. The first step in bringing your gums back to optimal health is educating yourself about the symptoms and causes of gum disease. Here are some common questions we hear in our practice: 

What Causes My Gums To Bleed?

Bleeding gums are generally caused by inadequate plaque removal, which over time allows germs to attack the tissue surrounding your teeth. The tissue then becomes inflamed which causes the gums to bleed. This is considered the initial stage of gum disease, also known as gingivitis. The good news is gingivitis can be easily treated before it progresses any further. 

What Happens if Gum Disease is Not Treated?

Progression of gingivitis is known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more serious and has been linked to tooth and bone loss, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and cancer. 

What Else Can Make My Gums Bleed?

Lack of vitamins (C &K) or inflamed gums due to pregnancy could also be the cause of bleeding gums. Some conditions and diseases such as thrombocytopenia, hemophilia or scurvy can also cause gums to bleed.

How Can I Stop My Gums From Bleeding?

It’s important to speak with your dentist if you’ve been experiencing bleeding from your gums. Your dentist will be able to properly assess the situation regarding your oral health and provide a solution. In addition to regularly scheduled visits to your local dentist, brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day are the easiest solutions to eliminate bleeding gums. It may take some time to see the bleeding subside as your gums continue to get healthier.

If you’ve been struggling with bleeding gums, know that it’s a common and treatable condition, but it will not go away on its own. It will take time and dedication to improve your oral health, but it can be done. In addition to working with your dentist, maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine will help your gums return to a healthy state. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our Alexandria office today.

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS

Phone: (703) 894-4867

Url: https://www.drkarlsmith.com/

2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128 Alexandria , VA 22302

Periodontist Alexandria | Quitting Smoking Can Decrease Your Risk of Implant Failures

The dangers of smoking have been prevalent for a very long time. Lung disease, periodontitis, and tooth loss are all but a few common side effects of this habit. For many adults who are looking to replace a lost tooth, dental implants have become a viable option. Even for those who have been life-long smokers, implants offer a cosmetic restoration to their smile. Nevertheless, if you smoke or are thinking of smoking in the future, you should be aware of the fact that this habit can cause your dental implants to require replacement sooner than necessary.

The dental implant failure rate is noticeably higher in those who smoke compared to those who do not. In general, about one percent of all dental implants fail in those who do not smoke. Alternatively, studies show the dental implant failure ratio for those who smoke is above 15 percent. Dental implants are made of titanium and supplementary materials that are entirely well-suited with our bodies. Titanium is known to attract bone cells which will grow and adhere to the post over time. This strengthens the implant within the mouth. However, complications arise when the patient smokes.

Nicotine adversely impacts the health of teeth through blood vessel constriction, dry mouth and pocket formation within the gums. As blood flow is reduced, the body loses its ability to fight disease and infection. Smoking decreases the rate at which bone grows throughout the entirety of the body, including the mouth and face region. Smoking also damages the mouth’s salivary glands, drying them out to the point that there is minimal fluid remaining to wash away bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Not surprisingly, most dentists believe that smoking adversely curtails the likelihood that the implants will heal properly, let alone last. The surgically impacted area simply cannot get the necessary healing nutrients it needs to recover.

Dentists offer differing opinions as to whether to fit smokers with dental implants. Nonetheless, doctors all agree that the best way for dental implants to last is for the patient to exercise good oral health. Not only will regular brushing and flossing help, but so will quitting the smoking habit altogether. Giving up smoking before your scheduled implant surgery will provide a healthy foundation for your new teeth to thrive for years to come.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact our Alexandria dental office or schedule an appointment for a consultation. We look forward to helping you smile with confidence again.

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS

Phone: (703) 894-4867

Url: https://www.drkarlsmith.com/

2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128 Alexandria , VA 22302