Gum Bleeding: What Does It Mean When You Brush Your Teeth?

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Gum Bleeding
Gum Bleeding: What Does It Mean When You Brush Your Teeth?

Do you find your gums bleeding while brushing? Ever wonder about the reason behind this? 

If you’re spitting blood when brushing your teeth or you notice the gum bleeding around one tooth, there are two possibilities. It could be a sign of either something simple like a wrong brushing technique or a complicated oral disease resulting in tooth loss. 

Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush My Teeth?

Gums bleeding when brushing is highly common, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore this symptom. It could be a sign of poor hygiene or an underlying dental condition. Here, we are going to see some common causes of gum bleeding, from most common to most severe:

1. Wrong Brushing or Flossing Technique

The simplest explanation you can find for bleeding gums is if you are brushing or flossing too hard. Some people think using a harder-bristle toothbrush allows them to clean their teeth more thoroughly. Yet, a hard toothbrush often just results in inflamed gums and bleeding or even receding gumlines.

If you are new to flossing, there is a chance that your gums are not used to that, which can also cause bleeding. 

2. Side Effects of Medications

Intake of some medications like blood thinners, anticoagulants, antidepressants and blood pressure tablets can also lead to gum bleeding.

3. Diabetes

Bleeding of gums can also be a sign of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. How? Diabetes can result in high blood sugar in your body, even in saliva. This can cause the growth of plaque and germs in your mouth — especially in teeth and gums, resulting in gum diseases.

4. Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a less severe form of gum disease. It is caused by the accumulation of plaque on the gumlines. The common symptoms include swelling, redness and irritation of gums. You can get rid of gingivitis by adapting a regular dental hygiene routine and proper treatment from a dentist.

5. Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a severe form of gingivitis. This progressive type of gum disease is more difficult to treat and can damage the gum tissue and the bones supporting your teeth, leading to teeth loss if not addressed by a dental professional. With periodontitis, bleeding is likely as your gums will be inflamed, irritated and infected. Your gums may even pull away from your teeth.

If you think your gum bleeding is caused by gum disease, it’s important to visit a dentist as early as possible. Gingivitis is relatively easily curable, but periodontitis is a more long-term issue that may require ongoing dental care.

How to Stop Gums From Bleeding

If you want to have a great smile and fewer oral hygiene issues, here are some things you can do to stop your gums from bleeding.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Oftentimes, bleeding gums mean you may be missing the mark when it comes to your oral hygiene. Use this as an opportunity to take action. Gums become inflamed and bleed because of bacteria in plaque — that sticky film that covers your teeth and gums. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and make flossing a daily habit to remove plaque. You should also go to the dentist as often as recommended by your dental health professional.

Brush Up on Good Brushing and Flossing Techniques

If your gums are bleeding, try using a soft-bristle toothbrush. You may also want to ask your dental hygienist or dentist for some pointers on proper flossing and brushing techniques.

Rinse With a Disinfectant

If your gums are harboring bacteria, rinsing with a disinfectant may help remove plaque, promote gum health and stop gum bleeding. There may be two effective mouth rinses already in your home. Mixing hydrogen peroxide with water and swishing after brushing can help reduce gum inflammation. You can also rinse your mouth with saltwater, a natural disinfectant that can reduce bacteria.

Apply a Cold Compress

A cold compress applied gently to your gum line can reduce swelling and restrict bleeding. Rinse a clean cloth with cold water and apply it to your gums for 20 minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, wait 20 minutes and apply another clean cloth.

Next Step: Visit Your Dentist

Bleeding gums should be taken seriously, and you must visit your nearest dentistry to know for sure what’s causing this symptom.

If you’re experiencing bleeding gums and the problem continues for more than a week, contact your dentist immediately. Don’t wait until the problem gets worse — it may become more severe and costly. At Dr. Mahsa Esfandiari Dental Group, we strive to provide exceptional full dentistry services. We are accepting new patients in Los Gatos, San Jose and the surrounding Bay Area. Call us today or schedule an appointment online if your problem persists.

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