When Should I Be Concerned with Bleeding Gums

When Should I Be Concerned with Bleeding Gums?

If you notice that your gums bleed while you’re brushing or flossing your teeth, keep an eye on whether it happens consistently, and, if you notice that it does, see your dentist; it could indicate a serious oral health concern. People’s gums can bleed for a variety of reasons, and if it happens once or twice in a lifetime, it’s not necessarily an indication of a problem. If your gums bleed consistently for a week or more, or if you notice bleeding when you brush or floss more than a few times over the course of a month, make an appointment for a dental checkup. While it’s not always the cause of bleeding gums, gum disease is one of the more common reasons that bleeding gums occur, and professional treatment is required to halt its destructive progression. Gum disease is often characterized by bleeding gums, along with a foul taste or smell in the mouth and visibly inflamed, swollen, or irritated gums, and the best way to prevent it, or to keep it from progressing, is with effective oral hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings.

Most adults have some level of gum disease at different points in their lives, and, in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed and the oral health restored with a routine professional cleaning. When gum disease has progressed, additional treatments can help repair its destructive effects and restore the health of the gums and oral cavity. While it’s a common cause of bleeding gums, however, gum disease isn’t the only reason a person’s gums might bleed. In many cases, people’s gums bleed because they brush and floss too vigorously, or they brush with a toothbrush that has bristles that are too hard. It’s easy to mistake aggression for meticulousness when it comes to cleaning the teeth; scrubbing seems like the best way to clean, but, when it comes to the sensitive tissue of the gums, it’s not. The best approach is to brush gently, in soft, circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and flossing should be approached with similar care. Your dental hygienist can instruct you about proper brushing and flossing techniques and provide input about the type of toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss you use.

Of course, people’s gums can bleed because of injury or trauma to the mouth or face, and any injury that causes persistent bleeding should cause a person to seek medical attention. And, while some cases of bleeding gums have manageable solutions, like modifying brushing and flossing techniques, the only way to know if your bleeding gums are a sign of something more serious is to see your dentist. Regular dental checkups, combined with effective home hygiene habits, can prevent bleeding gums from occurring, and, if your gums bleed on a consistent basis, you should see your dentist to determine the root cause of the problem and to stave off additional oral health concerns. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to oral infection, jawbone damage, tooth loss, and even systemic infection and disease. While bleeding gums aren’t always a sign of gum disease, the only way to know for sure is to have a thorough dental evaluation, and if your gums bleed more than one or two times over the course of a month, professional intervention could make a world of difference in your oral health, and even in your overall health.