We have all been there, you’re almost done brushing your teeth when you notice some blood and soreness around your gums. You might notice some bleeding when you floss. Although the smallest amount of blood may not seem like a big deal, if your gums are bleeding consistently, you should not ignore it. In fact, more than half the population have experienced bleeding gums while toothbrushing in the last year alone. Bleeding gums can happen for a number of reasons, such as gingivitis, a side effect of pregnancy and an early sign of gum disease. Changing your oral care routine can also make your gums bleed, at least at first. Here is what you can do if you do notice some bleeding.
Make sure you’re brushing for the right amount of time, twice a day
The correct amount of brushing time recommended by dentists is 2 minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. If bacteria deposits from plaque on teeth are not removed through regular brushing and flossing, they cause build-up of tartar, which makes it harder to remove and continues to irritate gums. This causes bleeding and can progress into more advanced forms of gum disease. The best way to reduce plaque buildup and your risk for bleeding gums is to maintain proper oral care routine. Along with brushing twice a day, flossing and using a fluoride mouthwash can help stop bleeding of gums. Dentist recommended along with brushing twice a day, floss at least once a day as well; which can sometimes stop bleeding with regular flossing. Incorporating a fluoride mouthwash into your dental daily routine can help reach places in between your teeth that your toothbrush might not be able to reach. Try adding all three in your daily dental routine to make sure that your teeth are healthy, and to stop bleeding gums.
Are You Using The Right Tools?
One of the most vital parts of having healthy teeth and gums is using the right tools to clean your teeth. One reason your gums might be bleeding while you brush is because you’re brushing too rough or not choosing the correct bristles/ toothbrush head type. If you do brush and floss regularly and get your semi-annual dental visit in, your oral hygiene care tools could be the cause of your bleeding gums. Although it may seem that a toothbrush with medium or firm bristles cleanses your teeth and gums more deeply, harder bristles can actually cause irritation which can be why your gums are bleeding. The recommended bristle type when using a toothbrush is soft or extra-soft bristles. In some cases, it might not be the tools that are causing the bleeding, but the way you are using them. If you have not been practicing daily flossing, start again. You might see a bit of blood at your gum-line, but remember to always handle them gently and avoid pressing the floss against your teeth and gums too hard. To make sure you’re not making your gums bleed by aggressively over brushing your teeth, always brush your teeth in small circular motions and that the toothbrush head fits comfortably in your mouth.
Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
“You are what you eat”, the old saying goes. Everything we put into our body either helps it grow or hinders our growth. We don’t usually think about this when it comes to our dental health. A healthy diet is important in order for our mouth to function properly. Lifestyle factors can also affect our mouth health such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Those who smoke are more likely to have gum disease. This is because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so your bleeding gums don’t get the chance to heal. When you were little your parents always preached how sugar will rot your teeth, this in fact is true. When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to create acids that attack your enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. Commit to a diet that is low in sugar and high in the necessary nutrients like fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to ban sweets from your life. Just remember to eat them in moderation, and brush after these snacks so that the sugar does have time to stick around.
When in Doubt, Go See Your Dentist
If you have changed your diet and amped up your daily dental routines, but you’re still experiencing bleeding gums when you brush, it might be time to see your dentist. Even Though bleeding gums are very common, if they are continuing to bleed after changes have been made, it could be a sign of something more serious. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums and if treatment is needed, such as a deep cleaning or periodontal surgery, you will be advised to consult a periodontist, who specializes in treating gum diseases. Usually, bleeding gums are no big deal, but in certain instances can warrant professional treatment. With the right diagnosis and personal care, bleeding gums can become a thing of the past.