If your gums are bleeding, it could be a sign of an oral health issue that may be serious. Today, our Ajax dentists share tips that can help you prevent and treat bleeding gums and when you should call your dentist.
Bleeding Gums & What They Mean
Bleeding gums aren't a normal consequence of brushing your teeth. But, many Canadians experience bleeding from brushing and often shrug it off as not being important or requiring immediate attention. This is generally a mistake. It's best to take immediate action and have your bleeding or inflamed gums attended to, whether they are currently causing pain or not.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
While occasionally bleeding gums can be the result of wearing dentures that fit too tightly or brushing your teeth too aggressively, more frequent gum bleeding could be a sign of a more serious condition or dental care issue, such as gum disease.
The Connection Between Bleeding Gum & Gum Disease
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 make your gums 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.
What To Do If Your Gum Bleed When You Brush Your Teeth
Though you should visit your dentist at the first sign of bleeding gums to have your periodontal health evaluated, you can take some measures at home to prevent and treat bleeding gums. These steps are numerous, and this article is not comprehensive, but adopting the following steps can greatly minimize potential hares. These steps include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth with an anti-gingivitis, alcohol-free mouthwash. You can purchase a mouthwash that fits this description at your local pharmacy. Ask the pharmacist if you don't know what you're looking for.
- Attend appointments with your dentist every 6 months and inform them of any changes, soreness, or sensitivity. Nothing is more effective than routine dental checkups with your dentist when it comes to ensuring good oral health. Your dentist won't just clean your teeth but also fully investigate your mouth to make sure it isn't being afflicted by any 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.