If you are new to this page, my name is Sheree Wertz, I have been in the dental field for over 30 years. Over the years, I have seen so much change and so much stay the same.
Cavities are still the #1 preventable childhood disease, and we do not pay enough attention to what the signs in our mouth are telling us.
I had the pleasure of interviewing a dear friend’s brother in law Brad, who a trip to his dentist, actually saved his life. I am thankful Brad is sharing his story that may help someone else.
He was 65 years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia; he was bleeding gums.
So, Brad tells us a little bit about what happened and how all this came about for you to get diagnosed.
“It was just seeping out from my teeth right at my gum line, and it was just alarming, to begin with. So I went to see my dentist who referred me to a periodontist and then after I went to the periodontist he suggested I go further. And I went to my regular doctor, and he had my blood drawn which is when they discovered that I had the beginning of leukemia AML.
And that’s how I found out, was from the blood work my doctor did. One of the beginning signs for me was bleeding gums.
I saw my periodontist that Friday. And then, I had already had plans to see my general doctor on Monday to have some blood work done, just for a yearly checkup, and he’s the one that discovered that I had leukemia.
So they rushed us right through. They knew that it was that bad.
When they gave the blood on Monday and then Tuesday, he got the results back from my blood work. He called me up Tuesday afternoon and said that I need to get to the hospital immediately. I had the onslaught of acute myopia leukemia by Tuesday night. I was at Rush Hospital in a bed. I was very sick.
But I’m here today. I’m very glad to be here. I’m grateful and blessed and wouldn’t have been from my doctors; I probably wouldn’t be here.
I had a bone marrow transplant, and at the moment, I’m cancer-free. I plan on staying that way for the rest of my life, and I’m very happy to be here.
I was a lot sicker than I thought I was.
You know I didn’t get cut open, I didn’t have a heart attack, I didn’t break anything. My blood was sick, and it was just like, leukemia, and all the Leukemia is out there, I had the worst one. The doctors in Chicago at Rush have just been unbelievable. Somebody donated their bone marrow and I had a bone marrow transplant and now I am cancer-free.
I am getting stronger every day.”
“And so how do you feel about the donor someone that actually took the time to donate marrow.”
“It’s very exciting. Rush requires a 12 point match on donors in my donor having to have a 14 point match blood chromosomes DNA. Some people pass away before they get a donor. So I was very fortunate to have to get one. He saved my life and hopefully one day we’ll be able to meet him.”
What would you like to share with people who maybe are having some bleeding gums and ignoring the symptoms or thinking that it’s not really important? The fact that they have bleeding gums.
“Now, looking back now, I would say that it’s a tell-tale sign of something that could be more serious. So I would definitely say if you have bleeding gums, especially I would look further into why they are bleeding and go to the dentist or doctor and have more tests because you just never know.”
“You think that doesn’t just happen. Out of the blue, it happens for a reason and luckily the professionals that were around me recognized that are all instrumental in saving my life.”
And those were the only symptoms you were having correct?
“Yes, I would get a little fatigued. When I would mow my grass, I would have to take a break, but I didn’t really put it together. I thought it was just the heat and humidity and I never put it together that there was something wrong with me, but it was that my white blood cells were overtaking my red blood cells and I didn’t realize it and then the bleeding gums I guess was the sign. Major sign.”
So, what Brad was talking about what’s gum disease, and seeing the periodontist, he had some swelling and bleeding gums, and they were bleeding just on their own, bleeding when he was brushing. And when he went to the dentist, and he had some work done, what they were doing wasn’t changing anything, which is why his Dentist sent him to a periodontist.
If you have bleeding gums it is a sign that something is wrong. Bleeding gums are not normal, something else could be going on, and you need to take it seriously. And sometimes just regular blood work that doctors do doesn’t get down to that nitty-gritty that maybe something is happening in your blood.
You need to be your own healthcare advocate. So if you know, something is not right in your body. Please look further into it. And if you have a doctor or dentist that’s just kind of blowing it off, then maybe you need a second opinion because your health is important, and you matter. So thank you for taking the time to read this blog.
If you think that it’s helpful or could help someone else, please share it and get this information out to as many people as possible, because a healthy mouth is a healthy body and a healthy life.
If you are not sure who to talk to and you need advice, book a 15-minute free consultation with me.
Visit your Dentist, If you are having bleeding gums.
Contact me for a 15-minute free consultation if you have any questions!
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Disclaimer – The information in this blog and on my YouTube channel is not medical advice. Please discuss this information with your doctor or health professional before undertaking anything suggested on this content.