If you suffer from bleeding gums, you’re not alone. Bleeding gums are one of the most common complaints dentists hear about from their patients, and the causes can range from something as simple as a change in oral regime, to serious oral health issues in need of urgent attention. Some people have naturally sensitive gums, but if bleeding occurs regularly you should bring this up with your dentist so that the possibility of gum disease or other oral health issues can be ruled out.
Here are the top causes of bleeding gums and some common ways to prevent this occurring.
Why do Gums Bleed?
If you’ve ever noticed bleeding or sore gums after brushing and flossing, it is possible that you’re simply brushing too hard. The abrasive surface of a soft to medium toothbrush is very effective at cleaning your teeth, however you should take care to use gentle strokes. Using a hard toothbrush or rapid strokes can cause the gums to become inflamed and may lead to bleeding. If you haven’t flossed in a while, your gums will need time to adjust to this new regime. You may experience bleeding the first couple of times, but this should cease after a week or two.
If bleeding occurs after every clean, it could be an indicator for an underlying oral health condition. Regular bleeding should not be ignored or brushed off, because it may be a sign of gum disease (gingivitis) or something else in need of immediate attention. If this is you, please call us immediately to schedule a check-up.
Three Common Causes for Bleeding Gums
In the early stages of gum disease, the gums will appear swollen and tender due to the presence and growth of bacteria (plaque) around the teeth. This is usually accompanied by bad breath. Over time this can lead to periodontitis, which ultimately may result in tooth loss and other serious complications.
The additional irritation of the gums during brushing and flossing will result in mild to severe bleeding, depending on the stage of your condition. If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Gum disease can be successfully treated through a combination of professional cleaning and scaling/root planning, along with fluoride treatment and good oral hygiene at home.
Dental Procedures and Medications
It is not uncommon for gums to bleed shortly after dental treatment, particularly if you’ve had oral surgery or incisions made in your gums. In such cases your dentist will provide you with advice, and usually bleeding can be managed with a piece of gauze or clean cloth. If bleeding persists longer than you were advised, we recommend making an emergency appointment at Sydney Park Dental.
Some medications can also cause gums to bleed. If you use anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, or if you’re on blood thinners, these drugs can increase the risk of experiencing bleeding gums. During the time you are taking these medications, you might like to use a soft toothbrush to minimise the risk of bleeding. Rather than traditional dental floss, you could use a WaterPik instead.
Heavy smokers and drinkers are most at risk of experiencing dry mouth, but it is also common amongst senior citizens. It is important to stay hydrated, as water helps to rinse away bacteria and maintain a healthy flow of saliva around your teeth and gums. Those who have a dry mouth have elevated levels of bacteria within their mouth, and the lack of lubrication makes gums rough and vulnerable to irritation. If you often experience dry mouth, please bring this up during your next check-up and your dentist will discuss strategies to rectify this.
Visit Sydney Park Dental Today
Bleeding gums are not always a cause for concern, but it’s important to be aware of potential causes and reasons behind this.
If you regularly experience bleeding gums, or if you are due for a check-up and clean, please don’t hesitate to call Sydney Park Dental on 02 8084 7170 today. We look forward to seeing you soon.