Bleeding gums are not healthy gums, so if you notice
bleeding when you brush or floss, you should schedule an appointment with your
dentist or periodontist to evaluate the reason.
Here are a few tips to keep your gums healthy.
Improve Your Dental
Bleeding gums are a primary symptom of gingivitis, which can
occur when plaque is allowed to build up on the gum line. Plaque is made up of
bacteria that cause the gum tissue to become red and inflamed. If not removed regularly, plaque can also
harden into tartar which is irritating to the gums and creates a rough place
for additional plaque bacteria to collect. The best way to reduce the amount of plaque on
your teeth and to avoid potentially bleeding gums is to brush and floss
regularly and efficiently.
Use the Proper
Many people make the mistake of believing that a toothbrush
with hard bristles will be the best tool for cleaning their teeth, but this
simply isn’t true. Harder bristles are
abrasive which irritates the gums and causes recession of the gums and erosion
of hard tooth structure. Instead, search
for a toothbrush that has soft bristles and brush in a circular motion rather
than back and forth.
Some medications can increase the chance of bleeding gums,
such as aspirin. Aspirin is a blood thinner, so it is known to increase
bleeding. Prescription medications may
also cause bleeding gums, so if you suspect that a drug prescribed to you by
your physician is the cause, contact your doctor to discuss your concerns.
Visit Your Dentist
and Dental Hygienist
Visit your dentist regularly so that small issues don’t
progress to bigger ones. He will examine
your gums and teeth to ensure that you haven’t developed a more serious
condition, and treatment options will be discussed.
See your Periodontist
Following four years of dental school, a periodontist
completes a three year advanced residency program before becoming certified. A periodontist specializes in the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Your periodontist will provide a
comprehensive periodontal evaluation and recommend treatment (see previous
Blog: What Is a
Periodontal Examination and What Should I Expect?).