Is it Gum Disease or Something Else?
Are your gums bleeding? There are a number of reasons why you are experiencing this dental issue. Some reasons are as simple as skipping flossing for a few days. Other reasons are not as straightforward and easily solvable.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of more serious issues like gum disease. The most common cause is plaque build up as a result of inadequate oral care. As plaque builds up, gums become infected causing inflammation, infection, and bleeding. Left alone, plaque will harden into tartar, ultimately resulting in gum disease or periodontitis. Gum disease will result in receding gums and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Often, bleeding gums can be easily treated with daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to our Eastover dental practice to see Dr. Stout.
If you notice that your gums have been bleeding, give us a call at Stout Dentistry where Dr. Stout will help you determine the cause. Long-term bleeding can signal other problems, so don’t ignore the signs.
9 Causes of Bleeding Gums
Without regular brushing and flossing, plaque builds up in between your teeth. This plaque is bacteria, which can infect healthy gum tissue and inflame the gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and, fortunately, is easily treated with a daily oral care routine to maintain healthy gums.
Periodontitis (Gum Disease)
Left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into a more serious issue like periodontitis, or gum disease. Over time, gingivitis will cause the gums to recede, creating pockets between your gums and teeth that trap the tartar and cause infections, or worse, tooth loss.
Hormonal changes in the body that come with pregnancy can show up in seemingly strange places, like your gums. These hormonal changes can cause what is known as “pregnancy gingivitis” and display in sensitivity, swelling, or bleeding in your gums when you brush and floss. If you are pregnant or planning to conceive, talk to Dr. Stout about proper oral care during pregnancy.
You Got a New Toothbrush
That brand new toothbrush could be the simple reason you’re seeing blood after you brush. Often, new toothbrushes need to be broken in after a couple days of use, or you picked up a hard-bristled toothbrush, when you’ve been using a soft-bristled one. A new toothbrush or harder bristles can cause irritation and bleeding. If the bleeding persists with the new toothbrush after a week, then consider switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Brushing Too Hard
Regular brushing is important, and so is the way in which you brush. Sometimes, aggressive brushing can cause bleeding gums, and even lead to receding gum lines. Hold your toothbrush at a 45° angle and gently move the toothbrush back and forth in short strokes, covering all sides of your teeth. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush will help reduce bleeding. If you’re not sure if you’re brushing properly, just ask Dr. Stout during your next visit and he’ll show you the correct way to brush.
Skipping Your Oral Routine
We’ve all had those nights where we’re just too tired to floss or we forget to floss for a few days. Don’t worry if you notice a bit of bleeding in your gums when you pick up flossing again. This is normal and should reside after a day or two.
Maintaining a healthy diet in vitamin-rich foods can help prevent gum disease. Consuming a diet high in sugar or simple carbohydrates can increase the risk of oral health problems, often making themselves known by bleeding gums. Vitamin deficiencies will show in your mouth and can be signs of poor overall health. Eat the rainbow every day, and keep the dentist away! (ahem, except for your twice annual visit!).
Blood thinners are well known to cause bleeding gums because they prevent the blood in your body from clotting. If you have normal healthy gums and are noticing bleeding after you brush, consider your medication. Let Dr. Stout know if you are taking any medications during your next visit so we can focus on other potential causes for bleeding gums.
Regular use of tobacco products can damage your gums and teeth, making you more susceptible to gum disease. Avoid tobacco for a healthy mouth.
If you have any questions or concerns about your bleeding gums, please reach out to our friendly team at Stout Dentistry and we will be happy to schedule an appointment. Call us today at 704.332.7737.