If it makes my gums bleed why should I floss?
This the next most common thing I hear. My answer is this is… floss to remove the source of infection.
If you don’t floss, the bacteria that cause gingivitis will destroy the fibers that attach your gum tissue to your teeth. When this happens the depth of the collar of gum tissue around your teeth increases. If the pockets become too deep you will no longer be able to remove the food and debris by brushing and flossing. When this happens the pockets become progressively deeper and the periodontal (gum) disease will worsen.
Gum disease (Periodontal Disease) is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States. I believe this is because it never hurts and it is so common that people convince themselves that bleeding gums is normal.
Gum Disease Symptoms
The only symptoms you will have as the disease progresses are redness of the gums surrounding the teeth, puffy or swollen gum tissue and painless bleeding. You may also experience a bad taste in your mouth from an abscess (pus) in the gum pockets and persistent bad breath as a result of food being metabolized (rotting) deep in the gingival pockets.
As more bone is lost your teeth will only be held in by their gum attachments. It will start to hurt to chew as you stretch those attachments around your teeth and the teeth may come out on their own while chewing.
Once you lose teeth due to periodontal disease your options to replace them will be limited and expensive (thousands of dollars) because there is not enough bone to support less expensive tooth replacement options. Bone grafting is not possible in all situations. This often leaves dentures as the only viable / affordable alternative.