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Bleeding Gums When Brushing: Should I Be Worried?

Bleeding gums can be a sign of serious dental health problems, many of which require immediate attention. Our Sault Ste. Marie dentists explain how to prevent and treat bleeding gums, as well as when there is cause for greater concern.

Bleeding Gums - What are they and what do they mean?

Bleeding gums are not a common side effect of brushing. Nonetheless, many Canadians experience bleeding from brushing and may dismiss it as unimportant or requiring immediate attention. This is a common error. It is best to address bleeding or inflamed gums as soon as possible, whether they are currently causing pain or not.

Understanding Causation - How could I end up with bleeding gums?

While bleeding gums can be caused by wearing dentures that are too tight or brushing your teeth too vigorously, more frequent gum bleeding can 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 brush and floss properly, plaque forms on the gum line and hardens into tartar at a rapid rate. Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, can cause your gums to puff up, swell, and bleed. Gingivitis can lead to more serious conditions.

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:

  • 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, like a load-bearing pillar supporting a temple called "improving your oral hygiene," is an important ally in the daily battle against gum disease and other oral health issues. As a result, professional cleanings should be performed on a regular basis. He or she can also advise you on proper oral hygiene, brushing and flossing techniques, and how to reach the more difficult areas of 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.

To learn more about how to maintain good dental health or to schedule an exam and cleaning, contact our Bay Dental Group dentists today.

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Looking for a dentist in Sault Ste. Marie? We're happily welcoming new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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