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Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush My Teeth?

posted Apr 30, 2015, 1:39 PM by Gary Kijanka   [ updated Sep 28, 2017, 12:16 PM ]

Palm Beach Grdens Dentist Dr. Kijanka
Brushing and flossing should be a part of your daily routine. In order to keep your breath fresh, your teeth clean, and your gums healthy, it’s important to stay on top of your oral health care routine. If you’ve noticed that your gums are bleeding every time that you brush, you may need to take a trip to the dentist. Bleeding gums can be an indication of a few different things. 

In many cases, bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. There are two types of gum disease, gingivitis, which affects only the gums, and periodontitis, which affects the tissues and bones surrounding your teeth. Gum disease is a result of the growth of bacteria on the teeth and gums. The best way to fight gum disease is by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing once daily. If left to progress, gum disease can be quite painful and destructive, so it’s certainly in your best interest to visit your dentist to determine if this is the culprit in your case. 

Another thing that may be causing your bleeding gums is the technique that you use when you floss. It’s important to be gentle, because flossing too vigorously can be painful and cause gums to bleed and swell. Gently slide the floss up and down between your teeth, following the curve of each tooth. Be carefully to not roughly force the floss between your teeth. 

Canker sores are another common factor in sore and bleeding gums. These painful mouth ulcers can develop anywhere inside your mouth, and will often appear to have a white center with red edges. These sores can develop on your gums, which can be quite painful, and it’s possible to have more than one at a time. Canker sores are not contagious, and there is no known cause, so it’s difficult to prevent them. 

Tobacco products often cause issues with gums. Cigarettes and other tobacco products can be extremely damaging to gums and teeth. Not only are people who smoke much more likely to develop gum disease than those who do not, but smoking can lead to a number of other gum problems, including sensitive, bleeding gums and painful sores. While some of these causes of bleeding gums are unavoidable, there are things that you can do to prevent the issue. Brush and floss daily, cut out smoking, and visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning. Not only will a trip to the dentist remove any plaque or tartar build up on your teeth, but your dentist will also be able to look for early signs of gum disease or other issues. Early detection is often key in preventing excessive damage, so a trip to the dentist is worth the time and effort.