Are bleeding gums a big deal?? Let’s pose another question – if another part of your body started spontaneously bleeding, would you be alarmed or concerned? Would you get yourself to a doctor quickly? Of course you would! Blood is supposed to stay IN your body. So why are we so blasé when our gums bleed? Well, probably because we are led to believe that it’s no big deal, almost considering it a “normal” thing. It’s not! It’s your body’s alarm system to let you know that something is wrong. Unfortunately, one typically does not develop other symptoms, like pain or loose teeth until much later in the process.
Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation, which is usually caused by a bacterial infection. We all have bacteria in our mouths, but there are many different types of bacteria, some that cause cavities and some that cause gum disease. When this bacteria builds up under the gum line your gums will react by becoming inflamed, and will often bleed easily. Initially this process can be reversed, but if it continues, and gingivitis (bleeding, inflamed gums) turns to periodontitis (loss of bone), the situation typically is not reversible.
So what’s the bottom line? Get your mouth checked regularly by your dentist (at least 2 times a year), and if your gums bleed at all, it’s not normal and you need to address it. And remember…..Only floss the ones you want to keep!