Noticing blood when you brush or floss your teeth can be concerning, but it may or may not be a serious problem. Understanding why your gums bleed while brushing or flossing and what you can do about it helps you deal with the situation.
Reasons Gums Bleed
There are a number of possible reasons that your gums bleed during brushing or flossing; some are more problematic than others. The following are some of the common things that lead to bleeding gums:
- Gingivitis – Plaque that builds up on your teeth and at your gum line can infect the gums, leading to the beginning stage of gum disease. Known as gingivitis, this early stage is characterized by red, swollen, and tender gums that may bleed during brushing. Receding gums, persistent bad breath, loose adult teeth, and visible pus around the gums and teeth are also signs of gum disease. Thankfully, gingivitis usually responds well to treatment, but can progress to more serious stages of gum disease if left untreated. In the later stages, gum disease is much more difficult to treat.
- Medications – Blood thinning medications reduce the blood’s ability to clot and can contribute to easier bleeding. Always tell your dentist if you are taking medications or if you think you might be experiencing bleeding gums due to blood thinners.
- Change in Flossing Routine – Changes in your flossing routine can cause your gums to bleed. If you don’t floss for a few days, then you may experience some bleeding when you floss again. This is true any time you start flossing more frequently than you have been; a small amount of bleeding is normal, but it should go away within a week.
- New Toothbrush – Using a new toothbrush or switching to a firm or medium bristle toothbrush can cause your gums to bleed.
- Pregnancy Gingivitis – Increased hormone levels during pregnancy or while taking oral contraceptives can change the way your gums respond to the bacteria in plaque and make them more sensitive, so many women experience swollen, bleeding gums while pregnant. The symptoms usually disappear after delivery, but it’s particularly important to practice proper oral hygiene during this time.
Steps to Take
If your gums consistently bleed while brushing, then don’t ignore the problem. Instead, take steps to deal with it promptly and improve your oral health. Here are some steps to take:
- Choose the Right Products – Using the right oral care products can reduce problems with bleeding gums. Choosing oral care products containing sea salt may help reduce bleeding. The natural ingredients in Oral Essentials products work to keep your mouth clean and healthy in a way that is safe and gentle. Some of our ingredients include Dead Sea salt, which helps keep your mouth fresh and xylitol, which may lower the risk of dental cavities; and aloe vera, for a calming effects.
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