Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? It is a common complaint and it might be tempting to think this is normal, or that not flossing for a few days will give them a chance to recover. This isn’t the case, and healthy gums do not bleed. This can be a symptom of gum disease, or it might be due to other dental infections or injuries to your teeth.
Gum disease is often called a silent disease as it can present very few symptoms until quite well advanced. Being aware of these early symptoms will enable you to seek professional dental care sooner rather than later, when the condition is easily cured.
Bleeding is one of the very first signs of infected gums, and it might be accompanied by other symptoms including gums that look red or swollen, which feel tender if pressed, tooth sensitivity or bad breath. If you do have some or all of these symptoms then you could have gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease.
Bleeding gums nearly always indicate early gum disease, but there are other reasons as to why this condition might develop. These reasons include:
Brushing your teeth too hard
Some medications can thin the blood, increasing the chances of bleeding gums
Having a clotting disorder or other blood disorder
Certain hormonal changes increase the sensitivity of the gum tissues to bacteria, increasing the chances of gums beginning to bleed
Being deficient in certain vitamins
Having ill-fitting dental appliances such as braces or dentures
Mouth ulcers or sores
Having certain medical conditions that affect your immune system
It is important to get a proper diagnosis from your dentist through booking a full check-up with Sparkle Dental.
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
If your bleeding gums are due to gingivitis, treatment will aim to remove the infection from your gums, enabling your gums to heal themselves. This is done through removing the build-up of plaque from your teeth.
Plaque is the sticky layer of bacteria that is generally removed through brushing and flossing. When it isn’t removed it develops into tartar or calculus that is removed through scaling and polishing at regular dental check-ups, or through scaling and planing to remove more significant deposits of tartar.
Professional dental cleanings will need to be combined with meticulous home care. You will need to brush and floss very thoroughly, even though your gums are likely to initially bleed a little. With proper care they should soon become firmer and healthier and will cease bleeding.
If your gums are bleeding due to other factors then your dentist can give you advice and practical help such as making sure any dental appliances fit correctly, and through showing you the proper techniques for brushing and flossing. If your gums are bleeding due to hormonal changes, for example during pregnancy, then you might need additional dental care during this time to help keep your gums healthy. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes can also require additional dental care to decrease the risk of gum disease developing.