June 9, 2018
Today, you and some friends have plans to head out for some shopping. While brushing your teeth in preparation for a fun-filled day, you notice that your gums are bleeding. This both alarms and leaves you wondering why you’re bleeding. Your dentist in Athens says this shouldn’t be taken lightly and explains what the causes are. Additionally, you’ll learn how your oral health can be restored as you read on.
What Makes Gums Bleed?
The last thing you want to see when performing your oral hygiene practices is blood. Before it can be addressed, though, it’s necessary to know what some of the causes are:
- Gingivitis – One of the more common causes of gum bleeding is gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease. This is brought about by the accumulation of bacteria and plaque that has begun to seep beneath the gumline and is causing irritation and inflammation.
- Medications – Certain medications can also cause gum bleeding, especially those that serve as blood thinners. This happens because they reduce your body’s clotting abilities.
- New Flossing Routine – If you’re starting to incorporate flossing into your dental hygiene routine, you can expect some initial bleeding. As your gums adjust, the bleeding should clear up within a week.
- New Toothbrush – A new toothbrush with harder bristles can lead to gum bleeding, which is one reason why it’s important to get the right model for your specific needs. If the toothbrush causes your gums to bleed, it could be a sign that the bristles are too hard.
- Pregnancy – If you’re an expectant mother, there’s a chance that you may notice some bleeding gums. That’s because the baby extracts the nutrients that he or she needs first, which can leave the mom deficient in some areas. The result can be a form of gingivitis. Thus, it’s important to let your dentist know if you have a baby on the way, so this can be monitored.
How Bleeding Gums Can Be Treated
The treatment for your bleeding first depends on your dentist identifying what the cause of it is. Then, he or she will make the necessary recommendations or provide the treatment to restore you to normal. In some cases, there simply needs to be an adjustment made in the brushing techniques, while other occasions call for a change in the type of bristles you’re using.
Still, the bleeding can sometimes be caused by bacteria seeping beneath the gumline. For such situations, your dentist may use a procedure called scaling and root planing, where he or she will probe the gum pockets to remove harmful bacteria and to smooth the surface of the roots.
If you’ve noticed that your gums are bleeding, the best thing to do is to immediately reach out to your local dentist to get the help you need. By taking action swiftly, you will prevent a host of more serious issues that can arise and be fully restored.
About the Author
Dr. J. Benjamin Patrick earned his dental degree from the University of Georgia School of Dentistry. For over 40 years, he’s gone on to provide the Athens community with top-notch care. Along the way, he’s never wavered from his commitment to continue learning, which is why he’s taken countless hours of continuing education. Additionally, Dr. Patrick shares his expertise as a faculty member of the L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Education. He promotes gum health at Advanced Dentistry of Athens and can be reached for more information through his website.
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