When Should I Be Concerned with Bleeding Gums?

You may have noticed some blood in the sink after you have brushed your teeth. Bleeding gums can be common ailment for a variety of reason. Many adults will experience bleeding gums during their lifetime.

A small amount of blood is not necessarily anything to worry about, but if your bleeding gums persist over a week then it is a warning sign of a more serious dental problem. In this situation call and schedule an evaluation with your dentist to determine the cause.

Common Causes for Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can often be the result of something simple. Some of the most common reasons that your gums are bleeding may be from:

  • An incorrect brushing technique- If you brush your teeth too vigorously because you believe it is the best way to get them clean. Your gums are extremely sensitive and brushing them aggressively can irritate them resulting in bleeding. Brushing in a circular motion will also avoid damage to your gums.
  • Using an incorrect toothbrush- You may choose a toothbrush with firm or hard bristles thinking that more abrasiveness will improve the cleaning process. These brushes can damage the enamel on your teeth and irritate your gums. It is suggested you use soft or medium bristles.
  • Wrong flossing technique- Flossing can be challenging and using the wrong technique will cut your gums. You should floss patiently and gently, following the curve of each tooth.
  • Gum disease- Gum disease is a primary and leading cause of bleeding gums. It is a progressive condition that demands professional intervention and treatment from your dentist to stop it and prevent it from progressing. A common ailment, over half of American adults over the age of thirty have some level of gum disease. The initial symptoms are mild in the earliest stages, so it is often ignored or overlooked until the disease progresses. In the early stage, it is called gingivitis and the main symptoms are swelling, bad breath, and bleeding gums.
    When the gum disease is left untreated it progresses into a condition called periodontitis which can easily result in serious problems that will affect your dental and overall health. These problems can include tooth loss, abscesses, jawbone damage, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and strokes.

When To Visit Your Dentist

If you have noticed blood after brushing your teeth several times, then you should schedule an evaluation with your dentist. This is also the case if you are also experiencing bad breath, swelling or a darkening in the color of your gums.

Your dentist will give you a thorough examination to check the health of your teeth and gums. If there is evidence of the initial stages of gum disease, they will perform a professional teeth cleaning which will remove the plaque and tarter which carries the damaging bacteria.
If your gum disease has progressed, it may be necessary to perform additional dental treatment to abate the progression of the disease.
If you have bleeding gums while brushing, or you have any other indications of gum disease, contact your dentist for an examination, a professional cleaning, and to get proper guidance in developing a successful daily oral hygiene program at home.

Are Bleeding Gums Serious?