On occasion, you may notice your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth. There’s no need to panic, but you shouldn’t ignore the problem either. As the care team for a leading periodontist in Bountiful, Utah, we want people to be aware that bleeding gums are a sign that you have problems in your mouth that should be addressed as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem could lead to more severe issues and require more complicated solutions.
The following are the causes of bleeding gums:
- Gum disease – Plaque left in the mouth will support the growth of bacteria that may infect your gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of infection. It is a common condition characterized by swollen and tender gums that occasionally bleed. When not properly addressed, gingivitis can turn into more serious periodontitis that may damage your gums and jaw bones. In some cases of periodontitis, bacteria can be transmitted into your bloodstream, affecting other parts of your body. Take bleeding gums as a gentle warning to seek care.
- Medications – Blood-thinning medications can occasionally cause your gums to bleed. Consult your doctor if your blood thinners are causing problems with your gums.
- Changes in flossing habits – If you change your flossing technique, your gums may bleed for a few days. If the bleeding continues or worsens, consult your dentist immediately.
- New toothbrush – The shift from a soft-bristled toothbrush to one with firmer bristles may irritate your gums, resulting in bleeding. While this is typical with new toothbrushes, if the problem persists, contact your dentist.
- Pregnancy gingivitis – Some pregnant women experience bleeding gums due to hormonal changes. The problem typically subsides after pregnancy.
Maintaining good dental hygiene, such as brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and seeing a dentist for regular visits can help you maintain healthy gums.