why does my gum bleed when i brush my teeth
You're brushing your teeth and notice a bit of pink when you spit out the toothpaste. You might notice some bleeding when you floss. Although the smallest amount of blood might not seem like a big deal, if your gums are bleeding consistently, you shouldn't ignore it. Bleeding gums can happen for a number of reasons, from gingivitis to a side effect of pregnancy. Changing your oral care routine can also make your gums bleed, at least at first. Here's what you can do if you do notice some bleeding. Step Up Your Oral Care Game According to, the biggest cause of bleeding gums is plaque buildup along the gumline. When you don't remove plaque in a timely manner, it hardens into tartar, a calcified material that plaque adheres to and continues to irritate the gums, which cause them to bleed and can progress into more advanced forms of gum disease. The best way to reduce plaque buildup and your risk for bleeding gums is to amp up your oral care routine. Remember to brush twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day as well; gums can sometimes stop bleeding with regular flossing. And of course, seeing your dentist on a regular basis not just when you have a problem or concern is also a must to keep your mouth in the best shape.
Take a Look at Your Tools If you do brush and floss regularly and get your semiannual dental visit in, your oral hygiene care tools could be what's causing your gums bleed. Although it might seem that a toothbrush with medium or firm bristles cleans your teeth and gums more deeply or thoroughly, harder bristles usually just cause irritation which can be why your gums are bleeding. The
site recommends using a toothbrush with soft bristles, such as, which cleans your teeth and gums thoroughly without irritation. In some cases, it might not be the tools that are causing the bleeding, but the way you're using them. If you've been out of the habit of flossing, start again. You might see a bit of blood at your gumline, but remember to always use a gentle hand and avoid pressing the floss against your teeth and gums too hard. Maintain a Healthy Diet What you eat and when you eat it also plays a part in keeping your gums from bleeding. Foods that contain lots of sugar or simple carbohydrates increase your risk for tooth and gum problems, as sugar creates an ideal environment for plaque to form. Commit to a diet that is low in sugar and high in the necessary nutrients found in foods like vegetables.
You don't have to ban sweets from your life. Just remember to eat them in moderation, and brush after these snacks so that the sugar doesn't have time to stick around. Consider Your Medicine Certain medicines also increase the likelihood that your gums will bleed. Some over-the-counter pain relievers, like aspirin, thin the blood and can therefore increase bleeding. It's also possible for a prescription medication to cause gum bleeding. If that is the case, your doctor might prescribe a different dose or a different medication altogether. Always talk to your doctor if you think a medication is causing side effects, even if they seem mild. See Your Dentist If changing your oral care habits, adjusting your medications, and maintaining a healthy diet doesn't help your gums stop bleeding, your next step should be to make an appointment with your dentist. He will examine your teeth and gums and determine if you have a more serious condition, such as advanced gum disease. Your dentist might also take an x-ray of the teeth and gums. If he believes treatment is needed, such as a deep cleaning or periodontal surgery, you'll likely visit with a periodontist, who specializes in treating gum disease.
In some cases, bleeding gums are no big deal, but in certain instances can warrant professional treatment. With the right diagnosis and personal care, bleeding gums can become a thing of the past. Noticing that your gums bleed when you brush or floss can be alarming. What are the possible causes of bleeding gums? There are different reasons that gums may start to bleed during brushing, some are temporary and some are of more concern. If you are worried about your oral health, then make an appointment with your dentist. Gingivitis Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Plaque on your teeth and at the gumline that is not removed by brushing and flossing can infect the gums and lead to the symptoms of gingivitis. When gingivitis occurs, your gums may become swollen, tender and sometimes bleed during brushing. This early stage of the disease responds well to good brushing and flossing habits and regular dental checkups. Medications The American Dental Association lists blood thinning medications as one of the possible causes of These medications decrease the blood's ability to clot, which can lead to easier bleeding. Let your dentist and doctor know about your experience and any medications you may be on.
New Flossing Routine Changing your flossing routine can also lead to bleeding gums. For example, if you haven't remembered to floss in a few days or if you have begun to floss more frequently to help remove food and plaque from between your teeth, then you may notice some bleeding. This should clear up within a week. New Toothbrush Switching from a soft-bristled toothbrush to a firm brush may also result in gums that bleed. Try returning to a soft or medium-bristled brush and talk to your dentist about what toothbrush is right for you at your next appointment. Pregnancy Gingivitis Some pregnant women experience swollen gums and bleeding during brushing. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis, according to the. Hormonal changes during pregnancy alter the body's response to the bacteria that causes gum disease. According to the American Pregnancy Association, symptoms should clear up after pregnancy. A dental checkup and regular brushing and flossing can help to prevent gum problems from becoming worse. Bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis, which can develop into the more serious stages of gum disease. The best way to find out what is causing your gums to bleed is to see your dentist and dental hygienist.
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