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Bleeding Gums When Brushing: Should I Be Worried?

Gum bleeding can indicate a variety of dental health issues, many of which are serious and require immediate attention. Our Etobicoke dentists explain how to prevent and treat bleeding gums, as well as when more serious concerns should be addressed.

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

Gum bleeding is not a common side effect of brushing. Even so, many Canadians experience bleeding from brushing and dismiss it as unimportant or not requiring immediate attention. This is almost always a bad idea. It's best to address bleeding or inflamed gums as soon as possible, whether or not they're causing pain.

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

While bleeding gums can occur occasionally as a result of wearing dentures that are too tight or brushing your teeth too hard, more frequent gum bleeding can indicate more serious conditions or dental care issues, such as gum disease.

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

Plaque builds up along the gum line when you don't brush and floss properly, and it hardens quickly into tartar. Gum disease begins with gingivitis, which causes your gums to become puffy, sore, and eventually bleed. Gingivitis can lead to more serious conditions.

Periodontitis, the second and more serious stage of gum disease, is an infection of the tissues and bones that connect your teeth and gums, which can lead to bone and tooth loss. As a result of the progression to this point, certain teeth may need to be removed as part of the treatment.

Bleeding While Brushing - What should I do next if my gums bleed during brushing?

Though you should see your dentist as soon as you notice bleeding gums so your periodontal health can be assessed, you can take some preventative and treatment steps at home. These steps are numerous, and this article does not cover them all, but following them can greatly reduce the number of potential harms. These steps consist of the following:

  • Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after each meal and before going to bed. You may notice more bleeding at first, but paying closer attention to your oral hygiene will help your 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 using an electric toothbrush to make cleaning your mouth easier. Many electric toothbrushes have sensors that let you know when you've finished brushing.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash. A mouthwash that fits this description should be available at your local pharmacy. If you're not sure what you're looking for, ask the pharmacist.
  • Every six months, visit your dentist and inform them of any changes, soreness, or sensitivity. When it comes to maintaining good oral health, nothing beats regular checkups with a professional. Your dentist will not only perform a cleaning but will also conduct a thorough examination to ensure that your mouth is free of any oral diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Your dentist is like a load-bearing pillar supporting a temple called "improving your oral hygiene" in the daily battle against gum disease and other oral health issues. As a result, professional cleanings should be done regularly. He or she can also give you advice on proper oral hygiene, brushing, and flossing techniques for getting to the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.

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

To learn more about how to maintain good dental health or to schedule an exam and cleaning, contact our Cloverdale Dental Group dentists today.

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