Why do my gums bleed?

Many people notice bleeding gums when they brush or floss. This is usually a sign of inflammation known as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Really? But it doesn’t hurt or anything.

Gum inflammation usually doesn’t cause pain. But you should always take bleeding seriously and have it checked by a gum specialist.

But my gums always bleed. They’ve been like that for as long as I can remember. That’s normal, isn’t it?

No. Healthy gums should never bleed (just like almost any other part of your body).

I’m probably just brushing too hard. Should I use a soft brush instead?

Bleeding gums are caused by bacteria that collect around your teeth and under the gums. These bacteria are very sticky, so a soft brush isn’t as effective at removing them. A medium texture brush (ideally an electronic brush) is usually much better.

But wouldn’t that cause more damage to my gums? My dentist told me to use an extra soft brush.

Proper toothbrushing with the correct technique will not cause any damage to your gums. A periodontist or dental hygienist can show you the correct way to do this. They will also help you with cleaning in between your teeth.

You mean flossing? That definitely makes my gums bleed!

That’s because harmful bacteria usually collect in the spaces between your teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Remember that these bacteria are the real cause of the bleeding.

By the way, floss is not necessarily the best way to clean between your teeth. An interdental brush is usually much easier to use and more effective. Your periodontist can help you choose the right size and show you the correct way to use it.

Isn’t there any mouthwash that can stop my gums bleeding?

Unfortunately, mouthwashes are not as effective as physically cleaning your teeth.

Most people with bleeding gums will also require treatment to remove any bacteria from their mouth. This can keep your gums healthy and may even help to prevent other more serious medical conditions.

What kind of medical conditions?

Well, the same bacteria that cause gum bleeding may also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy complications.

So, if you have ever noticed bleeding from your gums, please see a specialist periodontist for a consultation. It might be more important than you think.

The Gum Gardener



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