Bleeding gums can be an indication of various dental health problems. Lots of these issues are serious and need to be addressed immediately. In this blog, our Ottawa dentists explain the causes of bleeding gums, how to prevent them, and what to do if your gums start bleeding.
Bleeding Gums & What They Mean
Gums don't normally bleed after brushing. But, lots of Canadians experience bleeding gums from brushing and shrug it off as not being that important or demanding immediate attention. Most of the time this is a mistake. It is best to take prompt action as quickly as possible to address bleeding or inflamed gums, whether they are currently causing pain or not.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
While occasional gum bleeding may be the result of wearing dentures that fit too tightly or brushing your teeth too aggressively, more frequent gum bleeding can be a sign of serious conditions or dental health problems, like gum disease.
Gingivitis & Periodontitis - How They Relate to Bleeding Gums
When you don’t brush and floss properly, plaque builds up along your gum line and can harden into tartar at an accelerated rate. Gingivitis - the first stage of gum disease - can result in sore and puffy gums that can eventually bleed. Gingivitis could 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 To Do When Your Gums Bleeding While Brushing
While you should see your dentist as soon as you first notice your gums bleeding to have your periodontal health evaluated, you can implement some measures at home to prevent and treat bleeding gums. There are many steps you can take, and this article is not comprehensive, but adopting the following steps can greatly minimize potential hares. These steps include:
- Flossing at least one time a day. Don't forget 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.
- 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.
- Thoroughly rinse with an anti-gingivitis, alcohol-free mouthwash. You can get a mouthwash that matches this description at your local pharmacy. Ask the pharmacist if you're unsure what you're looking for.
- Visit your dentist twice a year (every 6 months) and inform them of any sensitivity, soreness, or changes. When it comes to ensuring good oral health, nothing is more effective than regular checkups with a dentist. Your dentist won't just provide a cleaning but also fully investigate to make sure your mouth isn't being afflicted by any manner of oral diseases - including gingivitis and periodontitis.
Your dentist is an important ally to have in the everyday battle against oral health problems such as gum disease. Therefore, regular professional cleanings are essential. Your dentist can also give you 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 confirm that you have correctly fitting dentures or prescribe a vigorous dental care routine that can put you back on the track to good gum health.