Various dental health problems can cause bleeding gums, and a fair amount of them are serious and need to be addressed immediately. In this blog, our Brandon dentists discuss the causes of bleeding gums, how you can prevent it, and the steps you should take if your gums bleed while brushing your teeth.
What Are Bleeding Gums & What Do They Mean?
Gums don't normally bleed as a result of brushing however, lots of Canadians still have bleeding gums, and brush this aside as something that doesn't need to be addressed immediately. This is usually a mistake. We recommend acting as quickly as you can if you have bleeding or inflamed gums, it doesn't matter if they are hurting or not.
The Causes of Bleeding Gums
If your gums bleed occasionally it could be caused by your dentures fitting tightly, or brushing your teeth too hard. But, if your gums bleed frequently this could indicate a more severe dental problem or condition like gum disease.
Gingivitis & Periodontitis - How They Relate to Bleeding Gums
When you don’t brush and floss correctly, plaque builds up on the gum line and can harden into tartar at an accelerated rate. Gingivitis - the first stage of gum disease - can cause your gums to become puffy and sore, and eventually bleed. Gingivitis can progress into more serious diseases.
The second, more serious stage of gum disease is periodontitis, which is an infection of the tissues and bones that connect your teeth and gums, and can eventually cause bone and tooth loss. Oftentimes progression to this point can lead to certain teeth having to be removed as a part of treatment.
What You Should Do if Your Gums Bleed While Brushing
While we highly recommend calling your dentist when you first notice your gums bleeding so you can be examined for periodontal disease, there are some measures you take at home to treat and prevent your bleeding gums. Keep in mind there are numerous steps you can take and this blog isn't comprehensive, however, adopting the steps we have listed below can minimize possible hares.
- See your dentist every 6 months and let them know of any changes, soreness, or sensitivity. Nothing is more effective than regular checkups with a professional when it comes to ensuring good oral health. Your dentist will not only provide a cleaning but also fully investigate to make sure your mouth is not currently afflicted by any manner of oral diseases - including gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Brush after each meal and before bed with a soft toothbrush and gentle fluoride toothpaste. You may experience increased bleeding at first, but the extra attention to oral hygiene can help the bleeding gums heal more efficiently in the longer run.
- Floss a minimum of once per day. Be sure to keep your floss somewhere highly visible, to help increase your likelihood of remembering to floss and protect your dental hygiene.
- Rinse thoroughly with an anti-gingivitis, alcohol-free mouthwash. You can pick up a mouthwash that fits this description at your local pharmacy. Ask the pharmacist if you're unsure what you're looking for.
- Consider an electric toothbrush to help you clean your mouth more easily. Many electric toothbrushes have sensors to help communicate when you've done enough brushing, which is yet another reason using them often correlates with having fewer dental health problems.
Your dentist is a critical ally in the daily battle against gum disease and other oral health issues, like a load-bearing pillar holding up a temple called "improving your oral hygiene". So, regular professional cleanings are important. He or she can also provide tips on proper oral hygiene, brushing, and flossing techniques to reach the more challenging spots in your mouth.
Depending on the cause of your bleeding gums, your dentist may take new dental impressions to ensure you have correctly fitting dentures or prescribe a vigorous dental care routine that can put you back on the track to good gum health.