Bleeding gums are usually a sign the soft tissue is damaged or inflamed. If you notice your gums are bleeding while brushing or flossing your teeth, it’s a good idea to take note and take action. The cause may be straight forward and temporary; however, even serious problems can be easily and effectively treated.
Why are my gums bleeding?
Here are five common reason why your gums bleed:
Gingivitis – The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. It develops when the sticky bacterial film, known as plaque, is allowed to take up residence along the gum line, irritating the soft tissue, and potentially causing inflammation and swelling of the soft tissue. Gingivitis can be prevented and treated with regular and thorough brushing and flossing, and by going for regular dental cleanings.
Pregnancy Gingivitis – Hormonal changes during pregnancy can wreak havoc with your skin, hair, and yes, even teeth! Higher levels of progesterone actually diminish the pregnant woman’s ability to fight off disease-causing bacteria, and may make gum tissue more sensitive to the effect of plaque. Although this phenomena only lasts during the pregnancy, it must be treated by increasing oral hygiene and professional cleanings from a dentist to prevent long-term damage.
Medication – Some medications, such as blood thinners, can cause the gums to bleed. These medications prevent blood from clotting, which means gums can bleed more easily if scraped or punctured while brushing. By using a soft-bristled brush and a very soft floss, it is still possible to keep plaque at bay without causing yourself and your gums any further harm.
Poor Dental Hygiene Habits – the American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and daily flossing will remove any bacterial buildup from between the teeth and along the gum line. The ADA also recommends visiting the dentist for regular cleanings. While many of us do try to stay the course, even a slight lapse can open the door to gum disease and inflammation.
The Tools – Selecting the right toothbrush and floss can make all the difference when it comes to gum health. For instance, switching to using a hard-bristled toothbrush after using a soft-bristled toothbrush can certainly hurt the gum and may cause it to bleed. The same is true with dental floss, which is available in many different forms. If your gums are bleeding when you floss, try using a softer thread or thinner floss designed for sensitive gums.
Bleeding gums can be an indicator that professional help is needed. If your gums bleed for more than a couple of days without any sign of improving, it is time to see your dentist. Contact our Indianapolis dental office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stuart. Prevention and early detection is the most comfortable way to maintaining a healthy smile.