When most people have a toothache, they know it’s time to go to the dentist. But when people notice their gums bleeding, not as many people know what they should do. Generally speaking, if your gums are regularly bleeding when you brush, floss, or eat, this means that you should be calling your dentist for an appointment. This is because there are a variety of reasons why your gums could be bleeding and it is important to have them examined. Here are five different reasons why your gums are bleeding:
One common reason why your gums could be bleeding is due to gum disease, which is caused by an accumulation of plaque and bacteria along the gum line. As the gum tissue becomes infected, it can become red, tender, and swollen. Gums that are inflamed due to gum disease also bleed easily while brushing, flossing, and eating. Gingivitis is the mild form of gum disease and can generally be reversed with the proper treatment. However cases of gingivitis that are not properly treated can advance into periodontitis, which cannot be reversed. When periodontitis becomes severe, it can result in tooth loss. For this reason, it is important to visit your dentist and rule out gum disease if your gums are bleeding.
Oral Hygiene Changes
Your gums may also be bleeding due to changes in your oral hygiene routine. This can happen when you start using a new toothbrush, especially if the bristles are stiffer than your old toothbrush. Another change that causes your gums to bleed is not flossing consistently. Anytime you stop flossing for a while and then start up again, your gums may bleed for about a week. In both cases, your gums usually need time to adjust and then they will stop bleeding.
Aggressive Brushing or Flossing Technique
Your gums may also bleed due to an aggressive brushing or flossing technique. Contrary to what many people think, applying more pressure while brushing or flossing does not actually get your teeth any cleaner. This is because plaque is very soft and doesn’t require a lot of pressure to remove. Stains and tartar, on the other hand, cannot be removed with a toothbrush or floss no matter how much you try. In the end, applying too much pressure while brushing and flossing only causes your gums to bleed and recede. It also results in your tooth enamel eroding faster.
Another reason why your gums may be bleeding is due to you taking certain medications. While these medications may be effective in treating other medical conditions, they can still have an effect on your oral health. This is generally because they can cause unfortunate side effects. For example, people who take blood thinners such as warfarin, heparin, or aspirin are more likely to suffer from bleeding gums. Although you should never stop taking medications without consulting your doctor, it may be worth discussing your concerns with your doctor to see if adjustments can be made.
One final reason why your gums may be bleeding only applies to individuals who are pregnant. During pregnancy, there are a number of hormonal changes that are necessary to sustain the pregnancy. However, these hormonal changes also make the mouth more sensitive to the bacteria that causes gum disease. As a result, many pregnant women develop pregnancy gingivitis. Like normal gingivitis, this can cause the gums to bleed easily. Because pregnancy gingivitis can lead to complications, it is recommended to visit your dentist as soon as possible if you are pregnant and have bleeding gums.
Dr. Sarmad Channo, a Rochester, MI dentist, received his doctorate degree from New York University Dental School. Since then, he has continued studying to broaden his expertise and has also graduated from Progressive Orthodontic Seminars with the highest of honors. Dr. Channo has also served as an instructor for both the McGann Postgraduate School of Dentistry and Progressive Orthodontic Seminars.