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Emergency Dentistry and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disease: Are Bleeding Gums an Emergency?
Many dentists have limited their practices to emergency dentistry in response to the Centers for Disease Control's COVID-19 guidelines for healthcare providers and dentists. The coronavirus is an airborne microorganism that infects people by attaching itself to mucus membranes in the nose and mouth. It is a highly contagious virus that remains active on some surfaces for a few days.
The global pandemic has led to most dentists only providing in-office care to those with dental emergencies. Those with issues that do not require emergency care can still consult with a dentist using teledentistry.
Do bleeding gums require emergency dentistry during COVID-19
The severity and cause of a person's bleeding gums determine if it requires emergency dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most cases of bleeding gums are caused by the first stage of gum disease called gingivitis. The condition often comes with other symptoms like swollen and tender gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing.
Gingivitis can be reversed with good oral hygiene and dental cleanings. Getting fast treatment is essential to prevent it from evolving into periodontal disease. This is the advanced stage of gum disease and the damage done from this point on cannot be reversed.
Periodontal disease counts as a dental emergency since it puts the health of the patient's teeth, gums and bone structures at risk. It also leads to bleeding gums that bleed whenever they are stimulated.
Other causes of bleeding gums
Bleeding gums can also be the result of a person being deficient of certain nutrients like vitamins K and C. Citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are great sources of both nutrients. Pregnant women are more likely to have bleeding gums due to hormonal changes taking place in their bodies. Such cases of bleeding gums often resolve themselves shortly after childbirth.
People who take blood thinners like aspirin are more likely to experience bleeding gums since these drugs make it harder for blood clots to form.
Bleeding gums can also be the result of something as simple as brushing too hard or using a hard toothbrush. Making a small change like switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush might be all that is needed to resolve the issue. If the bleeding does not respond to such changes, it is time to see a dentist as that might be a sign of damaged gum tissues due to gum disease.
Bleeding gums caused by periodontal disease counts as a dental emergency and quick treatment can help to save the patient's teeth and the bone structures that support them. When left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to teeth falling out or becoming loose.
Find out if you need emergency care
Dealing with bleeding gums? Call our Lafayette clinic for an over the phone evaluation. Our dentist will help you to determine if your condition requires emergency dental care. If it does not, our dentist can educate you about ways to deal with the problem.
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