Gum bleeding can indicate a variety of dental health issues, many of which are serious and require immediate attention. Our Leamington dentists explain how to prevent and treat bleeding gums, as well as when more serious concerns should be addressed.
Bleeding Gums - What are they and what do they mean?
Gum bleeding is not a common side effect of brushing. Even so, many Canadians experience bleeding from brushing and dismiss it as unimportant or not requiring immediate attention. This is almost always a bad idea. It's best to address bleeding or inflamed gums as soon as possible, whether or not they're causing pain.
Understanding Causation - How could I end up with bleeding gums?
While bleeding gums can occur occasionally as a result of wearing dentures that are too tight or brushing your teeth too hard, more frequent gum bleeding can indicate more serious conditions or dental care issues, such as gum disease.
Gingivitis & Periodontitis - What are they and what do they have to do with 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.
Bleeding While Brushing - What should I do next if my gums bleed during brushing?
Though you should see your dentist as soon as you notice bleeding gums so your periodontal health can be assessed, you can take some preventative and treatment steps at home. These steps are numerous, and this article is not exhaustive, but following them can greatly reduce the number of potential hares. These steps consist of the following:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.