For most people, a little blood in the gums doesn’t seem like a cause for concern. Our teeth are strong, so we assume are gums are too. The problem with that frame of mind is that are gums are supposed to act as protection for the teeth. When gums are inflamed or bleeding, it means that they are the source of infection rather than actively working to prevent it.

It’s normal for gums to recced slightly away from teeth. But healthy “gum pockets” measure at no more than 3mm. It’s good to ask you hygienist about gum measurements at different areas of your mouth so that you can practice the recommended homecare. For example, many patients actually brush too hard, causing recession to worsen.

A measurement of 4mm or more may be a sign that gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) is present. If caught early enough, gingivitis can be reversed. But after a certain point, permanent damage to your jawbone has already been done. Too much lost bone structure can result in the need for tooth extraction over time. Due to bone loss after lost teeth, changes noticeable changes in the face often occur. These changes have been described as having a “sunken” or “hollow” appearance.

I tell patients all of this not to scare them but just to remind them how important dental care is to your overall health. If you or your family is in need of dental treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 469-656-4516.