Bleeding gums are a serious problem that should never be ignored. Potential causes for this condition include improper brushing or flossing techniques, medication side effects, or, in most cases, the presence of harmful bacteria. It’s important to see your dentist in Marietta as soon as possible to get to the root of the problem. Prompt treatment can bring relief.
Common Causes of Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums can result from a number of causes. Here are three of the most likely culprits:
- Improper brushing or flossing technique: for example, flossing too vigorously or too close to the gum line can cause bleeding. Using a hard bristle toothbrush can have the same effect.
- Medication side effects: blood thinners, including aspirin as well as prescription formulas, can sometimes make gums more likely to bleed.
- Gingivitis: this is by far the most common cause of bleeding gums, especially if the problem is chronic. The bacteria that cause tooth decay also irritate the gums, causing tiny blood vessels to break.
Putting a Stop to Gum Bleeding
The journey to overcoming this problem begins with a trip to your dentist. He or she will perform a complete oral exam and determine the cause of the bleeding. Your treatment plan may include any or all of the following steps, depending upon the diagnosis:
- Switching to a different toothbrush or brand of floss: most people enjoy better brushing results from a soft bristle toothbrush and a brand of floss that fits comfortably between their teeth.
- Medication changes: if your dentist suspects that your bleeding gums are caused by medical side effects, then he or she may recommend talking to your primary health care provider about changing your dosage regimen. Under no circumstances should you discontinue a medication without express medical permission.
- Practicing better oral hygiene: it’s important to brush 2-3 times a day, taking care to clean all sides of each tooth. Flossing is another important daily habit. Your dentist may also recommend using a fluoridated dental rinse.
- Cleaning your tongue and other soft mouth tissues: this is an often overlooked aspect of dental hygiene. Bacteria can fester on your tongue, the insides of your cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. You can use a toothbrush to clean these areas or try a purpose-made tongue scraper, which are sold at most pharmacies.
Advanced Treatment for Bleeding Gums
Sometimes bleeding gums are a symptom of full-blown gum disease. This is especially likely if your gums have begun to recede from your teeth. In such cases, your dentist may want to schedule a scaling and root planing procedure. Sometimes called “dental deep cleaning,” the purpose of this treatment is to remove plaque and tartar all the way up to the roots of the teeth. Your dentist may also recommend a prescription mouthwash or other remedies.
Bleeding gums are a warning sign you should never ignore. See your dentist in West Cobb as soon as possible if you’re suffering from this problem. Prompt treatment can save your smile and bring you welcome relief.