Seeing a tiny amount of blood in the sink after brushing and flossing may seem completely normal to you, but it isn’t normal. In fact, spitting out small amounts of blood after brushing and flossing is not normal at all and it could indicate that your teeth and gums aren’t as healthy as you think.
Improve your oral health by learning more about what causes gums to bleed and what you can do if you start to experience bleeding gums.
The Most Common Cause of Bleeding Gums is Gum Disease
Gum disease develops when bacteria, which is found in plaque, is not properly removed. If the bacteria-filled plaque is left in the mouth it will eventually start to attack the healthy gum tissue that surrounds your gum. When under attack by the harmful germs and bacteria found in plaque, healthy gums will become red, inflamed, and swollen which causes them to bleed.
Injury from Improper Brushing and Flossing Causes Gums to Bleed
Bleeding gums aren’t always caused by gum disease. Sometimes it can be caused by injury to the gums from improper brushing and flossing.
Brushing your teeth with a toothbrush that has frayed bristles or too hard or flossing improperly or with too much force can cause tiny little tears to appear on your gums. The tiny tears will bleed just like any little cut on your body.
How to Treat Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are usually easy to treat especially if treatment is sought when you see the first signs of blood after brushing and flossing. The type of treatment that is used to stop your gums from bleeding will depend upon what is causing your gums to bleed.
Some examples of how bleeding gums are treated include:
- Professional tooth cleaning – a professional dental cleaning will remove plaque and tartar that has formed around your gum line. Removing the plaque and tartar through a routine dental cleaning will often treat mild to moderate cases of gum disease.
- Scaling and root planing – this is what is commonly referred to as a ‘deep clean’. This treatment option removes plaque and tartar that has formed deep below the gum line. If the tartar and plaque forms too far below the gum line it cannot be removed with a regular dental cleaning and scaling and root planing will need to be performed.
- Learning how to properly brush and floss.
- Learning which types of toothbrushes should be used to avoid injuring or damaging your gums.
- Reviewing medications to see if any cause thinning blood or swollen gums which will make you more likely to experience bleeding gums.
A dentist can work with you to identify the cause of your bleeding gums and provide you with possible treatment recommendations that can help stop the bleeding.
Ways to Stop Your Gums from Bleeding
Some of the things you do on a daily basis, such as drinking a sugary soda or smoking a cigarette, increase your chances of experiencing bleeding gums. Some things you can do to try and reduce your chances of having bleeding gums include:
- Stop smoking
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume
- Limit the amount of caffeinated or sugary beverages you drink
- Limit the amount of sugar you consume
- Eat a well-balanced diet that doesn’t include a lot of starches, sugars or carbohydrates
- Use a toothbrush that has soft or medium bristles
- Learn how to properly floss your teeth so you aren’t pulling or tugging the floss through your teeth
- Schedule regular appointments for routine professional cleanings
- Brush and floss daily as recommended by your dentist
Notice your gums are bleeding after brushing and flossing? Call Smiles by Shields today to schedule an appointment with our friendly holistic dentist. Our dentist will help you find the cause of your bleeding gums, provide treatment recommendations, and even give you suggestions on things you can do to help prevent your gums from bleeding.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to welcome you to our dental family!