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Bleeding Gums When Brushing: Should I Be Worried?

Bleeding gums can be a sign of dental health complications, many of these can be quite severe and require immediate attention. Here, our North Sydney dentists explain how to prevent and treat bleeding in gums and give some guidance about when there may be cause for concern.

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

Bleeding gums are not a normal consequence of brushing. Still, many Canadians report experiencing bleeding from their gums and may shrug it off as not being important or worthy of attention. 

This is usually a mistake. It's best to take proper and prompt action as quickly as possible to address bleeding or inflamed gums that are causing pain or not.

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

While occasionally bleeding gums can be the result of wearing dentures that fit too tightly or brushing your teeth too aggressively, more frequent gum bleeding can also be a sign of 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?

When you don't floss or brush correctly, plaque builds up on the gum line and may harden into tartar at an accelerated rate. Gingivitis - the first stage of gum disease - can cause your gums to become sore and puffy, eventually bleeding. Gingivitis can progress into more serious diseases down the road.

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?

You should visit your dentist at the first sign of bleeding gums so your periodontal health can be evaluated, however, there are some measures you can take 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 after each meal and before bed with a soft toothbrush and gentle fluoride toothpaste. You may experience increased bleeding at first, but the extra attention to oral hygiene can help the bleeding gums heal more efficiently in the longer run.
  • Floss a minimum of once each day. Make sure that your keep your tooth floss somewhere highly visible in order to help increase your likelihood of remembering to flood and protect your oral hygiene and health.
  • 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 your mouth thoroughly with an alcohol-free and anti-gingivitis mouthwash. You can pick up a mouthwash that fits this description at your local pharmacy. Ask a pharmacist if you aren't sure about what you're looking for.
  • See your dentist every 6 months and let them know 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 make sure your mouth is not currently afflicted by any manner of oral diseases - including gingivitis and periodontitis.

Your dentist is a critical ally in the daily battle against gum disease and other oral health issues, like a load-bearing pillar holding up a temple called "improving your oral hygiene". So, regular professional cleanings are important. He or she can also provide tips on proper oral hygiene, brushing, and flossing techniques to reach the more challenging spots in your mouth.

Depending on the cause of your bleeding gums, your dentist may take new impressions of your smile to ensure that you have correctly fitting dentures or prescribe you with a vigorous oral hygiene routine that can put you back on the track to excellent gum health.

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

Book an appointment today with Harbourside Dental in North Sydney.

We're open from 9am to 5pm Monday-Thursday.

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