Noticing that your gums bleed when you brush or floss can be upsetting. What are the possible causes of bleeding gums? There are different reasons that gums may bleed during brushing - some are temporary and some are of greater concern.
Following are some issues that may be causing your gums to bleed.
Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Plaque on your teeth and at the gum line - which is not removed by brushing and flossing - can infect the gums and lead to the signs of gingivitis. When gingivitis occurs, your gums may become swollen, tender and sometimes bleed during brushing. This early stage of the disease responds well to good brushing and flossing habits and regular dental checkups.
Medications: The American Dental Association lists blood-thinning medications as one of the possible causes of bleeding gums. These medications reduce the blood's ability to clot, which can lead to easier bleeding. Let your dentist and doctor know about any medications you may be taking.
Flossing Routine: Changing your flossing routine can also lead to bleeding gums. For example, if you haven't remembered to floss in a few days or if you have begun to floss more frequently to help remove food and plaque from between your teeth, you may notice some bleeding, but it should clear up within a week.
New Toothbrush: Switching from a soft-bristled toothbrush to a firm brush may also result in bleeding gums. Try returning to a soft or medium-bristled brush and at your next appointment, talk to your dentist about which toothbrush is right for you.
Pregnancy Gingivitis: Some pregnant women suffer from swollen gums and bleeding during brushing. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA). Hormonal changes during pregnancy change the body's response to the bacteria that cause gum disease. According to the APA, symptoms should resolve after pregnancy. A dental checkup and regular brushing and flossing can help to prevent gum problems from becoming worse.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis, which can develop into the more serious stages of gum disease. The best way to find out what is causing your gums to bleed is to see your dentist and dental hygienist.
If your gums are bleeding – or if you are worried about your oral health – call our office today to schedule an appointment so we can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.