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.
Less Oxygen, Less Bleeding
Smoking actually deprives your mouth of oxygen. In order to identify active bleeding, your blood needs regular oxygen. If it does not receive the oxygen it needs, it can still bleed, but it will not be as visible. This means that if you are a smoker, you could still have bleeding gums and other symptoms of gum disease, but you may not even realize it because the lack of oxygen does not make the bleeding visible. Other symptoms of periodontitis include the following, some of which may still be masked by the smoking:
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Pain while chewing
- Receding gum line
- Increased spacing between teeth
- Loose teeth
Regular Treatment May Help
Getting in to see your periodontist is important every six months, but it is especially of importance if you are a smoker. Smoking may mask signs of a more serious issue, but your periodontist may be able to identify problems early on and treat them before something drastic occurs, such as a tooth falling out.
As you may well know, the ideal solution for preventing gum disease and protecting your overall health is to quit smoking entirely. No matter what, getting in to see your dental professional on a regular basis is of utmost importance to keep your teeth and gums in optimal health.
See Your Periodontist Today
If you are starting to experience some of the signs of gum disease but do not notice any bleeding, you may want to schedule a visit with Dr. Jean-Claude Kharmouche of Nova Perio Specialists right away. Contact our office to reserve your appointment today.