Bleeding gums can point to health complications, many of which are quite severe and need immediate attention. Here, our Ottawa dentists explain how to prevent and treat bleeding gums, and offer guidance on when you might have cause for more serious concern.
Bleeding Gums - What are they and what do they mean?
Did you know bleeding gums are not a normal consequence of brushing? Still, many Canadians experience bleeding after brushing and may shrug it off as not demanding immediate attention or bring that important. This is generally a mistake. It is best to take quick action as quickly as possible to address inflamed or bleeding gums, whether they are currently causing pain or not.
Understanding Causation - How could I end up with bleeding gums?
While occasionally bleeding gums may be attributed to wearing dentures that fit too tightly or brushing your teeth too aggressively, more frequent gum bleeding can also be an indication 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?
Plaque can build up on the gum line and harden into tartar at an accelerated rate when you don't brush and floss correctly. Gingivitis - the first stage of gum disease - can cause your gums to grow puffy and sore, and eventually bleed. Gingivitis can progress into more serious diseases.
Periodontitis is the second, more serious stage of gum disease. This infection of the bones and tissues that connect your teeth and gums and can eventually cause bone and tooth loss. Progression to this point can often lead to certain teeth needing to be removed as part of treatment.
Bleeding While Brushing - What should I do next if my gums bleed during brushing?
While you should see your dentist at the first sign of bleeding gums so he or she can check your periodontal health, you can take some measures at home to prevent and treat bleeding gums. While these steps are numerous and this article is not comprehensive, but adopting these steps can greatly minimize potential complications.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.