There you are, doing your nightly brushing routine, when you go to spit in the sink and notice…blood. Eek! You figure that blood can’t be a good sign, and you’re not sure why it’s happening or how to prevent it. Since bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease, it’s always a good idea to see a dentist in Milpitas for an evaluation so they can assess your gums and recommend the appropriate treatment. Having said that, gum disease isn’t always the culprit, so keep reading to learn about five of the most common reasons your gums might be bleeding. Some of them may surprise you!
Gingivitis simply means inflamed gums. Inflammation involves bleeding, swelling, redness and tenderness. The cause? Bacteria.
Since plaque and tartar are mostly made of bacteria, one of the best ways to reduce gingivitis is to brush, floss and see a dentist for a cleaning and checkup every six months. Think about treating your bleeding gums the same way you would treat a cut on your arm. If you want it to heal, you should start by keeping it clean!
One side effect of many types of medications is increased bleeding. Examples include:
- Blood thinners
- Blood pressure medications that are calcium channel blockers
- Some seizure medications
If you’re taking one of these medications, your gums may bleed regardless of how good your brushing and flossing is, but it’s still very important to do well with your hygiene routine!
By keeping your teeth and gums clean, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of cavities, gum disease and bad breath.
NEW FLOSSING ROUTINE
Many patients say that they don’t floss because it “makes their gums bleed.” It’s easy to come to this conclusion, but the truth is often that the gums are bleeding because they haven’t been flossed regularly!
When someone brushes well but doesn’t floss, about 1/3 of the bacteria in the mouth is left behind, which causes gingivitis and subsequent bleeding. After about a week or so of regular flossing, the gums should be healthy and inflammation free!
Hormones are incredibly powerful and can affect every part of the body. The gums are no exception! Of course, since pregnancy is a prime time for hormone surges, it’s no wonder that many women notice swollen, tender or bleeding gums.
Although it may seem pointless to floss because the bleeding seems to occur no matter what, it actually becomes extra important to keep everything clean during pregnancy!
Studies have shown that pregnant women with inflamed gums or gum disease have an increased risk for preterm birth or low birth weight babies.
If you’re using a new toothbrush, your gums may respond by bleeding mildly. This is temporary and will subside within 2-3 days with consistent brushing and flossing.
Remember to use light pressure and short, circular movements. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist in Milpitas for help with your technique at your next checkup!
It can feel alarming when you notice bleeding gums, but knowing the reasons behind it can go a long way towards easing your concerns!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Sumity Sharma is a general, restorative and cosmetic dentist who makes gum health a priority. She always takes the time to help her patients understand the reasons why their gums are bleeding and how they can improve their gum health. If you have any questions, she can be contacted via her website or at (408) 769-5868.