Blood cancer warning sign that may be mistaken for common dental problem

Patients are admitted after experiencing side effects most associated with gum disease or other dental problems.However, this symptom may also be a warning sign of acute myelogenous leukemia

You may notice this symptom when cleaning your teeth (stock photo)(Getty Images)

A little-known but often ignored symptom of blood cancer may appear while brushing your teeth.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as leukocyte cancer, is notorious for its “rapid and violent progression.” In fact, the disease often requires “immediate treatment” and kills more than 2,700 people every year in the UK alone, according to the NHS.

Symptoms tend to appear within a few weeks and start to become more severe, but a specific warning sign can easily be mistaken for a common dental problem. Here's everything you should be aware of and when you should see your doctor…

Cancer Research, the UK's leading charity, said AML may cause people to “bruise or bleed easily”, including gums that bleed when brushing their teeth. This is often caused by thrombocytopenia – a lack of platelets in the blood, which slows blood clotting after an injury.

The experts at MyLeukemiaTeam reported several patients who experienced this symptom, one of whom wrote: “I was recently admitted to the hospital with bleeding gums. My gums started bleeding and the doctors had a hard time controlling it. It was a very difficult time. ”

Of course, bleeding gums can be caused by a range of dental problems, such as brushing too much, brushing too hard, flossing too much, or even getting a new toothbrush. Bleeding can also be caused by plaque buildup, which can irritate and inflame the gums and can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

If your gums bleed when you have your teeth cleaned, talk to your dentist. You should also brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time and floss to remove food from between your teeth to minimize plaque buildup and gum disease.

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