What Should I Do If My Gums Are Bleeding?

Closeup of a brunette woman wearing a sweater while lying in yellow and orange leaves thinking about her bleeding gums

Some people experience bleeding when they brush and floss their teeth. While a number of things may cause your bleeding gums, some of the more common reasons include vitamin deficiencies or buildup of plaque and tartar between your teeth and along your gum line, which can lead to gingivitis. In order to stop this bleeding, there are a number of things you can do.

  1. Develop Better Oral Hygiene Habits
  2. Plaque buildup along the gumline is the most common cause of bleeding gums. When you don’t remove this plaque quickly enough, it can harden into tartar, which irritates your gums further and can lead to gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. To prevent tartar from developing in the first place, it’s important that you practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once a day, and brush your tongue every day. You may think that you shouldn’t floss if your gums are bleeding, but in fact it’s probably a sign you need to floss more often to remove plaque from your mouth. Additionally, be sure to see us for cleanings every six months.

  3. Examine Your Dental Tools
  4. If you think your oral health routine is not the problem, consider that your tools might be the reason for your bleeding gums. You may think that you should be brushing with medium or even firm bristles, but harder bristles actually just cause more irritation to your gums. The American Dental Association recommends you use a toothbrush with soft bristles, which clean your gums and teeth without causing any bleeding or irritation. If you are using a soft bristled toothbrush, then consider your brushing technique. If you are brushing too hard, ease back on the pressure and instead apply firm but gentle pressure as you brush. With flossing, be sure to use a gentle hand to avoid pressing the floss against your teeth and gums too hard.

  5. Understand Your Medication
  6. If you are using an over-the-counter pain reliever like asprin, this could be thinning your blood and causing your gums to easily bleed. Some prescription medications also cause your blood to thin, so be sure to check with your doctor to be aware of the side effects of your medication.

  7. Eat a Healthy Diet
  8. It’s important to eat a healthy diet for more reasons than just watching your waistline. Eating healthy foods is imperative to maintaining a healthy mouth. Avoid foods and drinks with a lot of carbohydrates and sugars, such as chips, candy, and soda. The bacteria in your mouth will feed upon the particles of these unhealthy foods and drinks and create damaging acids that can wear away your enamel. Unhealthy foods and drinks can also increase your risk for plaque buildup and tooth decay. Instead of these snacks, reach for fruits and vegetables such as apples and celery, which actually help to wash away any leftover food debris and acids in your mouth.

Your oral health is our priority. If you can’t figure out why your gums are bleeding, contact us to schedule an appointment so we can figure out what’s causing the bleeding and find a treatment that is right for you!

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