Bleeding gums alone does not mean that someone has periodontal (gum) disease, although bleeding gums are one of the warning signs that periodontal disease may be present (See “Periodontal Surgery”). Some other signs of periodontal disease that should alert you to visit the dentist for an examination are: Persistent bad breath, separating, loose or flaring teeth, a change in the way your teeth bite together, gums that have pulled away from the teeth, gums that are swollen, red or tender, and pus between teeth and gums when gums are pressed.
Most people do not experience any pain due to gum disease, so it is difficult for patients to diagnose gum disease in the early, very treatable stage. Regular dental check-ups, including a periodontal exam, by your dentist is an important step in early detection of periodontal disease. Your dentist can design a personalized oral hygiene program that fits your special needs and maximizes the opportunity to keep your teeth for life!