Do your gums bleed after brushing? Bleeding gums is the first sign of early gum disease, which is called gingivitis. If not treated, gingivitis can turn into a full-blown gum disease, called periodontitis.
However, bleeding gums can be a sign of a more serious health issue and also a sign of a minor problem. Fortunately, there are ways to address bleeding gums, so they don’t bleed regularly. Dr. Scott Veal at Veal Dental Care in Dunwoody, Georgia, shares the most common reasons for bleeding gums and when you should and shouldn’t worry.
Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky film that settles on your gum line and can lead to inflammation. It’s the inflammation that leads to the bleeding while brushing. Plaque that isn’t removed and builds up gets hard over time and can cause more severe dental problems. Fortunately, plaque can be removed with good dental hygiene, which includes brushing twice a day and flossing daily, as well as getting regular dental checkups and professional dental cleanings.
Certain medications such as blood-thinning medicines can cause your gums to bleed. Blood-thinning drugs interfere with your blood’s ability to clot, so that it may lead to increased bleeding. Talk to your doctor if you’re on blood thinners and gum bleeding is getting problematic.
People who have diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease if their disease is not managed. Glucose is present in saliva, and if your diabetes is not controlled, glucose levels can increase, making it an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and plaque.
As mentioned above, excess plaque buildup is a prime reason for bleeding gums. Good oral hygiene practices and managing your diabetes are two effective ways to minimize bleeding gums. Conversely, bleeding gums can be a sign of type 1 or 2 diabetes.
Brushing or flossing too forcefully
Simple brushing or flossing too hard can irritate your gums and make them bleed. A softer toothbrush and less vigor should stop the bleeding. If you’ve just started flossing routine or changed flosses, your gums may bleed at first as they get used to it, but the bleeding will subside soon after.
During pregnancy, many things in your body change. Fluctuating hormones change the way your body responds to bacteria, which results in inflamed gums and what experts call “pregnancy gingivitis.” Most of the changes, including gingivitis and bleeding gums, gradually change back after the baby is born.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, also called gum disease. Gum disease is when your gums become inflamed and infected. It can lead to a host of health issues and also tooth loss. Bleeding gums, as mentioned above, is the first sign of early gum disease. It’s important to treat it early, so it does not develop into a long-term problem.
Are your gums bleeding? Is it time for your dental checkup? Call Veal Dental Care to make an appointment with Dr. Veal, or request one online through this website.