I wanted to write to ask about my gums. I have noticed recently that they are bleeding more often when I floss them. I usually have some bleeding when I floss, but this seems more than normal.
Frances in Florida
Unfortunately, no level of bleeding gums is “normal” when you are flossing. It is good that you are flossing regularly. And it’s also good that you are noticing it and asking the question because it could be a sign of periodontal disease.
Many people don’t know that one of the reasons it is recommended that we see the dentist twice a year is so that gum disease can be diagnosed and treated early before it has a chance to cause real damage.
When it comes to dental health, our gums are just as important or even more important than the state of our teeth because while cavities are fairly easily treated with fillings, gum disease can be more problematic unless it is caught and treated quickly.
Gum disease usually begins when the plaque that naturally forms on our teeth after we eat is left to harden into tartar. Tartar can irritate the gums and cause inflammation, and when this inflammation becomes severe, the teeth and their supporting structures get broken down. This is when gum disease becomes a periodontal disease, and one of its signs is bleeding gums.
At this point it would be a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist, so you can get a diagnosis and proper treatment if it is needed. Remember also that medications can also sometimes cause bleeding or inflamed gums, so if you are taking blood thinners, contraceptives, high blood pressure medicine, or even some over-the-counter pain medications, be sure to tell your dentist at your appointment.
Good luck to you in your journey to a healthy dental future.
This Blog is brought to you by David Pumphrey of Pumphrey Periodontics in Atlanta.