Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I have an orthodontic follow up if I suspect I have gingivitis?"
My gums keep bleeding and I think it's gingivitis. Will an orthodontic follow up tell me how to get my gums to stop bleeding so much?
Gingivitis, also known as periodontal disease, is defined as inflammation of the gums. It is usually caused by plaque (bacteria biofilm) that is adherent to the surfaces of your teeth. Bleeding gums are a symptom of gingivitis as well as gums that are swollen, tender to the touch, or bright red or purple in color. Another symptom of gingivitis is bad breath. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious form of periodontal disease known as periodontitis, which can be very destructive. Unless you have some form of specialized orthodontic hardware in your mouth or recently underwent mouth or jaw surgery, it is not necessary to see an orthodontist for gingivitis. I would, however, highly recommend scheduling an appointment with your normal dentist. The dentist will examine your mouth for symptoms of gingivitis and likely take x-rays. Treatment usually includes thorough dental cleaning by a hygienist (possibly a series of visits), as well as adequate oral hygiene at home. This includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and the use of a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide. If, by chance, your dentist does not find any signs of gingivitis it is important for you to discuss your symptoms with your primary care provider as there are certain medical conditions which can cause bleeding of the gums.
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