My gums bleed when I brush my teeth. I have dental anxiety and am afraid that I know I have gum disease because of canceling dental appointments for the past three years. Things are probably worse than they would usually be because I am diabetic. Now I will need sedation and deep cleanings. The thought of it is increasing my anxiety because I already have too many medical bills. How long can I expect treatment for gum disease to last? Ramón from TN
Thank you for your question. Dr. Lacy would need to examine your teeth and gums and take x-rays to determine the extent of your gum disease.
How Are Diabetes and Gum Disease Related?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than people without diabetes for these reasons:
- High glucose levels can contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.
- Saliva flow in your mouth decreases when you have diabetes, causing bacteria-producing acid to linger in your mouth.
- Germs in your mouth will travel into your bloodstream. And your body’s immune response can unleash molecules that can increase blood sugar levels.
How Gum Disease Progresses
Gingivitis, or the beginning stage of gum disease, can cause your gums to swell and bleed. It can lead to periodontitis, or advanced gum disease and cause your teeth to loosen. It can even spread to the jawbone.
- Your dentist can check your teeth and gums more frequently.
- Your hygienist can perform regular deep cleanings to remove plaque from your gum pockets.
- Your dentist may prescribe fluoride rinse or prescription toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- You may need advanced care from a periodontist (gum specialist).
How Long Will Gum Disease Treatment Take?
How long gum disease treatment takes depends on its severity and how your dentist or periodontist must treat it. You may need only a few weeks of treatment, or treatment can be spread out over a few months. After an examination, your dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan for you.
Getting Gum Disease Treatment If You Have Dental Anxiety
If you have dental anxiety, your dentist can use sedation to help you relax during gum disease treatment. Depending on your anxiety level and the care you need, your dentist will explain the options. You can ask our dentist about financing options to help you pay for dental care over time.
This post is sponsored by Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.