Bleeding gums is experienced at one time or another by most of the population and it is always a cause for concern. People often ignore it in hopes that it will go away, brush harder or avoid brushing at all instead of talking about it with a dentist. Bleeding gums can be an early sign of gum disease and it needs to be addressed. It can be easily reversed if it is found at a dental exam and treated in its early stages.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
Plaque settles along the gum line into every little crack and crevice. If it is not removed with regular brushing and flossing, it colonizes and begins to harden into tarter. When this happens, gums become swollen and irritated. This is typically when people begin to see blood after brushing their teeth. The blood is a symptom of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease.
Other causes of bleeding gums include certain medications, a toothbrush with very firm bristles and a new flossing routine. Hormonal changes such as adolescence and pregnancy can cause gums to bleed without necessarily being a symptom of gingivitis. There are also some medical conditions which can cause this to happen, but they are not common.
Taking Care of Your Gums
It is more important than people realize to take proper care of their gums. After all, they do hold your teeth in! You should brush and floss regularly and at least twice per day. Be sure to brush gently along the gum line where your teeth and gums meet. If you are not always consistent about flossing, become regular. Flossing helps remove food and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. It is also important to change your toothbrush every three to four months and avoid smoking at all costs. Most importantly, see your dentist regularly for scheduled cleanings and check-ups.
If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, make an appointment with our office today. You may need help making adjustments to your oral home care routine or it could be a sign of something more serious. The best way to find out what is causing your gums to bleed is to come in and see our highly trained dental staff.