Bleeding gums. It happens to everyone at some point, but for others, it is a constant issue that signifies a serious condition. If you suffer from bleeding gums, there are some steps you can take to identify the cause and lesson the discomfort.
Here are a few causes (and solutions) for bleeding gums.
Bleeding gums while flossing. Sometimes our patients will tell us they do not floss because it causes their gums to bleed. We understand, but flossing is very important, so we like to discuss with our patients why their gums are bleeding and how to fix it.
Possible Reason: Not flossing enough. Not flossing enough can cause bacteria to build up around the gums and cause inflection. When this happens, it is important to gently brush the gums, and clean with a mouthwash such as Listerine. Wait a couple days while maintaining a brushing and rinsing routine of at least twice a day before starting to floss again. If you still see blood, call us to make an appointment.
Possible Reason: Flossing too aggressively. Teeth sometimes overlap and touch, and the space in-between can be hard to reach. If the floss is forced in a tight space it could actually be cutting into the gums. Try a flat waxed floss to get in those tight spots. Ask your hygienist to show you the best technique for the hard-to-reach and tight teeth to be most effective.
Possible Reason: Hard bristle brushes. Harder bristle brushes can cause a lot of damage to the soft tissue of the gums. Choose a medium or soft bristled brush and take it easy around the gum line. It is better to have a slow
Bleeding gums while brushing.
Possible Reason: Periodontal Disease and/or enflamed gums. Gums are super sensitive. When you brush your gums and they are already infected and/or swollen, it will cause bleeding. Swollen gums could be a temporary condition due to a mouth accident, biting hard on a food with a sharp edge, or it could be gingivitis or a longer-term issue such as periodontal disease. Without proper dental hygiene, bacteria in the mouth forms plaque on the teeth. The bacteria can cause your gums to become inflamed, which results in red, swollen, or bleeding gums. If you have swollen gums or have experienced bleeding gums for over two weeks, you should come in for an appointment.
Possible Reason: Hard bristle brush. A hard bristle toothbrush (and often a medium bristled brush) is too hard for the sensitive gums. Choose a soft bristled brush to gently clean teeth and around gums.
Your gums are very important to your health. They protect the teeth, jaw, and bloodstream from bacteria and infection. Treat them well with gentle, consistent care and see your dentist if your problems continue more than a couple of weeks.