Why are my gums bleeding when I brush my teeth?
Bleeding gums are most commonly a result of an irritation to inflamed gums. Gums become inflamed due to a bacterial infection known as gingivitis or gum disease. Gums typically bleed when a patient brushes or flosses their teeth. Routine oral hygiene agitates the infected gums and causes them to bleed. Bleeding gums are not normal and should be addressed by a dentist as soon as possible.
Gum disease is progressive, and left untreated can deteriorate the function and health of your entire smile. Gum disease is caused by the spread of bacteria that feed on plaque buildup. Bacteria multiply and form deep pockets in the gum line. Gums become inflamed and gradually pull away from the teeth leaving your smile susceptible to a wide range of issues.
Patients with gum disease are more likely to develop:
- Shifting or loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Gum recession
- Tooth decay
- Bleeding gums
- Bone loss
- Facial sagging
- Cardiovascular disease
- Lung disease
Do I have gum disease?
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss and affects almost 80% of the American population.
If you have gum disease it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Patients with gum disease often show no signs of the disease until it has already caused damage to the gum tissue and even the jaw bone. If you have gum disease, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Swollen, tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Change in the fit of an oral appliance
How can I prevent gum disease?
Prevention is the best approach to avoid bleeding gums and the progression of gum disease. Good at home oral hygiene, routine dental health exams and professional teeth cleanings are the best practices for preventing gum disease.
Once gum disease has begun to spread, patients will require treatment from their Palmetto Smiles dentist. We offer a range of treatment options for eliminating bacteria, cleaning out periodontal pockets and restoring your oral health. Combining periodontal therapy, restorative dental services, and implant dentistry, we are able to help patients rebuild healthy, stable smiles.
While bleeding gums are most commonly a sign of gum disease they may be an indication of other health concerns. Brushing or flossing too vigorously, or wearing a dental appliance that does not fit properly can both cause bleeding gums. Hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause can also cause gums to bleed. If your gums bleed, be sure to let your dentist know during your next routine dental exam. Our dental care team can make personalized recommendations for improving your oral hygiene.