Dental Care

Why do Your gums bleed when you brush Your teeth?

If your gum bleeds after brushing or flossing, you should be more careful with your teeth because bleeding gums is not normal. Healthy gums should never bleed when you’re brushing or flossing. If they do, we need to first figure out why?

But before we go into our main subject, I need to mention one important thing. I can’t even count the number of times patients have said to me “oh my gums bleed, but no worries it’s normal”.

For people who think this is normal, let me ask you a question: If your hand was bleeding, wouldn’t you be worried?

It’s the same with your gums. They should not be bleeding.

Now we know that bleeding gums isn’t natural, let’s figure out why they are bleeding. and then we’ll figure out how to stop them from bleeding.

What is the main cause of bleeding gums?

1. Poor dental hygiene

The most common reason for bleeding gums is simply poor home care, and not keeping your teeth clean enough.

Some people’s gums only bleed when they floss their teeth, but people with more inflamed gums might see bleeding every time they brush their teeth.

When plaque starts to build up on your teeth, your body sees that plaque bacteria that shouldn’t be there and if that plaque is hanging out on your teeth for too long your immune system starts rushing antibodies that are in your bloodstream directly to your gums. So proper brushing techniques and proper flossing techniques are critical in preventing bleeding gums.

If it’s been a while since you’ve properly stimulated your gums then it’s probably just a matter of time before your gums start to bleed. So make sure you are brushing and flossing properly.

It’s like working out daily, the more you work out the less it hurts, and the same idea with your gums the more you stimulate the gums properly through brushing and flossing the less tenderness you will feel. So always make sure you are using the proper techniques.

Keep in mind if your gums are bleeding the first thing you should do before anything is make an appointment with your dentist and get a professional cleaning.

During your appointment ask your dentist or your dental hygienist what they recommend for you. For example, there are some patients who need to use an electric toothbrush, with others it doesn’t matter what toothbrush they are using but it is more important for them to use a water flosser in addition to traditional string floss.

You know it’s a case-by-case determination on what will best benefit each individual patient which is decided by the severity of each patient’s periodontal charting.

2. gum inflammation

Besides poor oral hygiene, the main cause of the majority of bleeding gums cases is gingivitis, which means inflammation of your gums. If your gums are swollen and it’s almost like you have a puffy wound somewhere else on your body and when you start touching it or pressing it might bleed, but with your gums, they’re full of blood vessels so when they get inflamed they bleed far easier.

How do they get inflamed? This is from plaque bacteria hanging out on your teeth for too long.

Gingivitis is reversible, you can go to the dentist to get a professional cleaning, come home focus on proper daily home care, and then you can bring your gums back to health with no more bleeding and no more inflammation.

However, if you do not reverse gingivitis it can progress into a more advanced stage of periodontal disease, also called gum disease periodontitis. At this point, those bacteria have snuck their way below your gum line underneath your gums which can lead to bone loss which you do not want because the bone is what holds your teeth in place.

It’s super important to visit your dentist and find out why your gums are bleeding, if it’s gingivitis work hard at home to keep them clean. If it’s periodontitis also work hard at home to keep them clean and be sure to follow your dental provider’s advice.

If they feel you should be having more frequent dental cleaning appointments say every three months instead of every six, it’s in your best interest to follow their advice.

3. systemic conditions

People with systemic conditions such as diabetes for example are more at risk to develop gum issues which mean there’s a greater chance of them having bleeding gums. So if you’re wondering why your gums are still bleeding if you feel like nothing is helping like you are physically doing the best you can like visiting your dentist routinely and using proper home care techniques on a daily it might be worth visiting your physician to confirm that your bleeding gums are not stemming from a systemic condition or a vitamin deficiency.

Again it is much more common that your gums are bleeding from poor dental hygiene, so don’t jump to the conclusion that you have diabetes. Always fix your brushing and flossing at home and then go from there.

Lastly, just remember once you start your new proper home care routine it might take your gums a couple of weeks to stop bleeding, so don’t get discouraged. Usually, once you complete a full two weeks of really good dental hygiene you can effectively stop your gums from bleeding.

Remember that you need to visit your dentist first for them to remove any hardened plaque also known as tartar because if there is tartar present in your mouth you can brush and floss until you’re blue in the face and it will not come off. You need tartar to be professionally removed and then you can successfully focus on maintaining clean teeth through proper home care.

Pro Tip

Just be warned if you’re someone who smokes, your mouth might not bleed even if it’s infected. So it’s especially important for those who smoke or use tobacco to get regular gum exams to make sure there’s no periodontal disease hiding out without you knowing about it.

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