Bleeding gums can be a sign fo dental health complications, many of which can be quite severe and require immediate medical attention Here, our Collingwood dentists explain how to prevent and treat bleeding gums, and provide guidance on when there is cause for more serious concern.
Bleeding Gums - What are they and what do they mean?
Bleeding gums aren't a normal consequence of brushing. However, many Canadians will experience bleeding from brushing their teeth and may shrug it off as not being important. This is usually a mistake. it's best to take action quickly to address inflamed or bleeding gums, whether they are currently causing you pain or not.
Understanding Causation - How could I end up with 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 can also be a sign of more serious conditions or dental care issues, such as gum disease.
Gingivitis & Periodontitis - What are they and what do they have to do with bleeding gums?
When you don't regularly brush or flood, plaque will build on your gum line and will harden into tartar at an accelerated rate. The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, can cause your gums to become sore, puffy and eventually bleed. Gingivitis can progress into more serious stages of periodontal disease.
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.
Bleeding While Brushing - What should I do next if my gums bleed during brushing?
Though you should visit your dentist at the first sign of bleeding gums so your periodontal health can be 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 including:
- 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.
- 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.
- See your dentist every 6 months and let them know of any changes, soreness, or sensitivity. Nothing is more effective than regular checkups with a professional when it comes to ensuring good oral health. Your dentist will not only provide a cleaning but also fully investigate to make sure your mouth is not currently afflicted by any manner of oral diseases - including gingivitis and periodontitis.
Your dentist is an important resource in your battle against gum disease and other oral health issues. So, regularly schedule professional cleanings are important. They can also provide tips on proper oral hygiene, brushing and flossing techniques to help you get to the most challenging spots in your mouth.
Depending on the cause of your bleeding gums, your dentist may take dental impressions to make sure you are fitted for restorations properly or may prescribe a more intensive oral hygiene routine to get you on track for good gum health.