Have you recently noticed that your gums tend to bleed after brushing or while flossing? If so, there are several possible causes—some of them more serious than others. If you are concerned about your oral health, here are some possible causes of bleeding gums in San Ramon, CA, and what you can do to stop it.
Bleeding gums are often a sign of oral or other health issues. Your gums may also start bleeding due to less serious, common causes. Knowing what to look for if you experience oral bleeding can help you determine what health steps you need to take.
Bleeding Gums Causes
1. New Toothbrush
Sometimes brushing with a new toothbrush can cause your gums to bleed temporarily. This is especially true if you switch from a soft-bristled brush to one that has stiffer bristles. To keep this from happening, continue using toothbrushes with soft or medium bristles and avoid firm toothbrushes that can be too rough on your gums.
2. Changes in Flossing Habits
If you have recently decided to floss more regularly, congratulations! You have made a decision that will improve your oral health for the better. However, it is important to realize that your gums may bleed for a while until you become used to your new flossing routine. Continue flossing regularly and the bleeding should subside within a week.
Some blood-thinning medications can cause the gums to bleed. If you are currently taking blood thinners and have problems with bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with an experienced periodontist to discuss your concerns.
4. Gum Disease – Gingivitis
Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is unfortunately one of the most common causes of bleeding gums, and it should be treated right away. The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which occurs when plaque on the gum line and teeth infects the gums and causes them to swell and bleed easily.
5. Hard/Sharp Foods
Hard food particles, like popcorn kernels, can become stuck between your teeth and cause bleeding. Flossing and rinsing with mouthwash should remove the material. Bleeding may also occur due to an infection around the base of a tooth. If you notice pain, swelling or pus, make a dental appointment.
6. Poor Fitting Dentures
Improperly fitting dentures may cause irritation and bleeding. It may take some time for your gums to adjust to dentures. If the problem persists, consult your dentist.
If you are pregnant, or taking a blood thinning medication, you may have bleeding gums. Do consult with a physician to ensure that there are no other causes for the bleeding.
Follow Proper Oral Hygiene
Floss gently to remove debris that builds up between your teeth. There are several brands of toothpastes and mouthwashes on the market designed to lessen bleeding and gum disease. Ask your dentist to provide recommendations if possible. Look for products with antibacterial ingredients. Crest Pro-Health is one of the many products readily available to improve your oral care.
You should always consult your dentist or physician if bleeding occurs easily or often. If pain is present, do not delay seeking medical advice. Catching health issues before they become severe is the best course of action.
Test Your Oral Health with Dr. Janice Kaeley’s Gum Disease Quiz
Gum disease affects oral tissues and is caused by bacteria that live on the tooth root under the gums. If left untreated, this bacteria cause chronic infection of the gums and eventually bone loss. To help patients recognize common signs of gum disease, Dr. Kaley has created this easy gum health quiz.
Test your oral health! How many of these signs do you have?
Yes = 1 Point, No = 0 Points
Add them up to get your results. Good Luck!
- Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth?
- Have the spaces between your teeth changed recently?
- Do you have any loose teeth?
- Are your teeth sensitive to drinking cold water?
- Anyone ever told you that you have bad breath? (Add a point if it’s your significant other or good friend. Subtract a point if it’s your ex.)
- Any red, swollen or sensitive gums?
- Has a dentist or dental hygienist every told you that you have periodontitis (gum disease) or gingivitis (inflamed gums)?
- BONUS: Two point question! After you floss all your teeth and spit in the sink, do you see any ‘pink in the sink’?
0: Are you a dentist?
1-2: Not bad, keep flossing!
3-4: Schedule a dental cleaning, floss every day for a week and take this test again to measure your progress.
5- 6: Sounds like trouble is brewing. Learn more about gum disease and your treatment options including laser gum disease therapy.
7-8: There are definitely problems that should be treated. If you live in Connecticut, call our office at 203-268-2000.
9-10: Run, don’t walk, to the phone and give us a call!
Take the Next Step
If you are experiencing bleeding gums near Pleasanton, CA or in San Ramon, it is time to take the next step and seek treatment. Dr. Kaley offers experienced, specialized laser gum disease treatment that is both gentle and very effective at removing diseased gum tissue. To schedule your appointment, Call Progressive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry of San Ramon during regular business hours.