If your gums are bleeding, it could be a sign of a potentially severe dental health problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Here, our Midland dentists share some ways you can prevent and treat bleeding gums and explain when you should see a dentist.
What Does It Mean When Your Gums Bleed?
Your gums shouldn't bleed when you brush your teeth, however, many Canadians that encounter this issue shrug it off as not being important, and put off getting dental care. This could be a mistake. We highly recommend taking action if you have inflamed or bleeding gums, whether you are in pain or not.
Potential Causes of Bleeding Gums
While occasionally bleeding gums can be caused by wearing ill-fitting dentures or brushing your teeth too hard, more frequent gum bleeding can also be a sign of more serious conditions or dental care issues, such as gum disease.
Gingivitis & periodontitis
Plaque will build up along your gum line if you do not floss and brush your teeth properly, and it will harden into tartar at an even quicker rate. Gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) could make your gums sore and puffy, then will start to bleed. Gingivitis can result in more severe diseases.
Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease and it is more serious. This is an infection of the bones and tissues that connect your teeth and gums, this eventually leads to tooth and bone loss. In many cases, when the disease progresses to this point certain teeth need to be removed as a part of treatment.
What To Do If Your Gums Bleed While Brushing
While we highly suggest scheduling an appointment with your dentist when you first notice your gums bleeding to have your periodontal health assessed, there are several things you can do at home to help prevent and treat this problem. By implementing these tips you can significantly reduce potential problems with bleeding gums:
- Make sure you're flossing daily. Be sure to keep your floss somewhere highly visible, to increase the chance that you'll remember to floss as a part of your oral care routine.
- 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 bleeding gums heal more efficiently in the longer run.
- 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.
- Consider investing in an electric toothbrush to help you clean your mouth more easily. Many electric toothbrushes have timers to indicate when you've completed the recommended length of time brushing.
- Visit your dentist two times a year, and don't forget to inform them of any sensitivity, pain, or changes you may have. Regular checkups with your dental team is the most effective way to help ensure optimal oral health. Your dentist won't just give you a professional cleaning but also conduct a comprehensive investigation to ensure your mouth isn't currently being affected by any manner of oral diseases - such as 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 what is making your gums bleed, your dentist might take new dental impressions to see if your dentures are fitting properly or prescribe a vigorous dental care routine that could help put you back on track to optimal gum health.