Gum disease, sometimes referred to as periodontitis when it worsens, is common among adults in the U.S. Even with regular brushing and flossing, you may experience gum disease. One of the most pervasive symptoms of this disease is bleeding gums when you brush or floss. This means that as long as your gums are not bleeding, you have nothing to worry about, right? Your periodontist will tell you this is not necessarily true – especially if you are a smoker.