Gum Disease

Don’t ignore bleeding gums

One common misconception among our patients is that it’s normal for gums to bleed sometimes during regular brushing and flossing. This is FALSE – your gums should never bleed. If you are experiencing bleeding gums, it means you have gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease, and you should schedule an appointment at Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry® right away!

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a common and dangerous infection that can have serious implications on your oral and overall health. It is estimated that over half of the American adult population has some form of gum disease, while many cases remain undiagnosed.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused largely by poor oral hygiene. When patients don’t brush or floss properly, plaque that is allowed to remain on the teeth hardens into tartar, and will start to irritate the gums to the point where they actually begin to pull away from the teeth or recede. Left untreated, deep pockets form between the gums and the teeth, allowing the disease to spread, and eventually causing teeth to loosen and fall out.

Signs & symptoms

Some of the warning signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, puffy, swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums (teeth appear larger than before)
  • Loose teeth


Left untreated, gum disease can cause serious problems for your oral and overall health. Aside from tooth loss and oral health, gum disease can drastically increase your risk for other systemic diseases including:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stoke
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis


If you’ve noticed any of the above signs or symptoms, you should come see us in Bolivia or Oak Island right away. If you are only in the gingivitis or early stage, your gum disease may be reversible with a change in your oral hygiene routine. If it’s advanced into periodontitis, you may require scaling and root planing treatment where we go in and remove the infection, sterilize the area, and reattach the gums.

If you have any questions about gum disease, or would like to reserve an appointment with your Bolivia dentist or Oak Island dentist – Dr. Michelakis, Dr. Wilharm, Dr. Harrington, Dr. Miller, Dr. Hohl, or Dr. Dobransky – please contact us at Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry® today at (910) 933-2408.

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