Your gums say a lot about your general health and if you notice that your gums are bleeding, this usually indicates the early signs of gum disease. Gum disease is a very common problem; in fact, most of us experience the symptoms of gum disease at some point in our lives. However, this does not mean that it should be ignored and several studies have linked gum disease to systemic illnesses, so it is perhaps more important to be wary of the waning signs of gum disease; researchers have found a connection between gum disease and heart disease, strokes, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and get checked out if you have bleeding gums. Gingivitis, the mild form of gum disease, which is usually characterised by swollen and bleeding gums, is easily treated with effective oral hygiene treatment. However, it can progress quickly and this is where gum disease becomes a real problem. Periodontal disease, the advanced form of gum disease, is impossible to cure and it results in permanent damage to the mouth, often causing the teeth to become loose and eventually, to fall out. The positive news about gum disease is that it is preventable and you only have to devote a few minutes a day to caring for your mouth to reduce your risks of gum disease significantly. Brushing your teeth and flossing remove bacteria and food deposits from the mouth before they can develop into plaque. Plaque is a colourless film, which clings to the teeth and gum line, irritating the gums and increasing the risk of damage to the tooth enamel. Effective oral hygiene helps to prevent the formation of plaque, keeping the teeth strong and the gums healthy.