Why do my gums bleed when I floss or brush my teeth?
There are a number of reasons why gums bleed. In some cases, brushing teeth too hard, using a toothbrush with too firm of bristles or aggressive flossing is to blame. While it is important to brush and floss daily, you should be careful not to abrade or cut the gum tissue and cause bleeding. If your gums bleed on a daily basis- it may be a sign of a more serious oral health concern.
Gum disease is a serious condition that affects nearly 3 out of every 4 American adults.
Gingivitis causes bleeding gums as the gum tissue becomes inflamed due to plaque and tartar buildup. Most people notice gums bleeding when they brush or floss their teeth and usually experience sore gums. Once gum disease begins to cause bleeding gums, the bacterial infection has already begun to spread. It is important to visit the dentist on a routine basis to allow for early diagnosis of gingivitis.
The Effects of Gum Disease
Gum disease can lead to a range of health problems from missing teeth to heart disease and diabetes. Routine visits to the dentist are the best way to combat gum disease and prevent serious problems from occurring.
Gum disease can increase your risk of:
- Tooth loss
- Gum recession
- Cardiovascular disease
- Loss of jaw bone structure
There are two main stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease and easily reversible by regular flossing and routine professional teeth cleaning.
- Periodontitis is a more serious, destructive form of gum disease diagnosed by the recession of gums and supporting bone away from the teeth.
Bleeding Gums FAQ
Are bleeding gums a sign of gum disease?
If your gums bleed on a routine basis, they are most likely a symptom of gum disease. The most common sign of gum disease is bleeding gums. Gum pain, sore gums, and gums bleeding may all be present in patients who have gingivitis.
Can pregnancy cause my gums to bleed?
Bleeding gums during pregnancy is very common because of hormonal changes taking place in the body. Pregnant women should continue to brush and floss, but be extra cautious around sensitive gum tissue to prevent bleeding. It is important to maintain routine visits to the dentist during pregnancy to monitor gum health.
How can I treat bleeding gums?
Treatment for bleeding gums should always be handled by a dentist. Never attempt to self-treat bleeding gums or use over the counter medications without the advisement of a dental professional.
For gingivitis treatment, plaque is removed from exposed parts of the teeth and gums. Antibacterial rinses and other aids may be recommended to reduce inflammation and cure gingivitis.
For periodontitis treatment, the dentist may recommend scaling and root planning, a procedure that clean the deep pockets of the gums to remove bacteria and debris. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, so seeking treatment for bleeding gums is extremely important.
Visit Our Baltimore Dental Office for Gum Disease Treatment
If you have sore gums or bleeding gums, contact our Baltimore dentist office for a periodontal screening and consultation. Our office is conveniently located in Owings Mills, MD just outside of Baltimore.
Call us at (410) 697-6290 or request a consultation online.