Bleeding Gums When Brushing: Should I Be Worried?

Bleeding gums can be a sign of dental health complications, which are pretty severe and require immediate attention. Here, our Steinbach dentists explain how to prevent and treat bleeding gums and guide when there is cause for more serious concern.

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

It is not typical for brushing to cause bleeding gums. Even so, many Canadians get bleeding when they brush, but they may brush it off as not being serious or needing urgent care. Usually, this is a bad idea. It's best to address bleeding or inflamed gums as soon as possible, whether or not they are currently in pain.

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

While occasionally wearing dentures that fit too tightly or brushing your teeth too vigorously can cause bleeding gums, more frequent gum bleeding can also be a sign of more serious conditions or dental care problems, such as gum disease.

Gingivitis & Periodontitis - What are they and what do they have to do with bleeding gums?

Plaque accumulates along the gum line when you don't brush and floss properly, and it can quickly turn into tartar. Your gums may swell, hurt, and eventually bleed during gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. A more serious condition can develop from gingivitis.

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 including:

  • Brush your teeth after each meal and before going to bed with a soft toothbrush and mild fluoride toothpaste. You may experience increased bleeding at first, but paying close attention to oral hygiene will help the bleeding gums heal more quickly in the long 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 inform them 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 ensure your mouth is not currently afflicted by any manner of oral diseases - including gingivitis and periodontitis.

Your dentist is an essential ally in the ongoing struggle against gum disease and other oral health problems, acting as a support pillar for the temple of "improving your oral hygiene". Consequently, regular professional cleanings are crucial. Additionally, he or she can offer advice on how to brush, floss, and maintain good oral hygiene to get to the harder-to-reach areas of your mouth.

Depending on the cause of your bleeding gums, your dentist may take new dental impressions to ensure you have properly fitting dentures, or he or she may prescribe a rigorous dental care routine that can put you back on the path to good gum health.

To learn more about how to maintain good dental health or to schedule an exam and cleaning, contact our Toddlers To Teens dentists in Steinbach today. Or find a location near you.