Why do my gums bleed when I floss?
Caring for our teeth is important, yet sometimes caring for our gums gets overlooked. Daily brushing of teeth should be combined with caring for our gums as well. The health of our gums is an important part of the health of our teeth. Bleeding gums can be a sign of a number of problems. Causes of bleeding may include gum disease, a bleeding disorder, leukemia, vitamin K deficiency, or possibly the use of blood thinners.
Bleeding gums require swift action; if ignored it may lead to the progression of more advanced gum disease. Many people fail to understand that bleeding gums are not normal! 1 in 3 people think bleeding gums are normal. Other indicators of gum disease that accompany bleeding gums may include bad breath, swollen gums, receding gums or even loose teeth.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
Plaque is most often the culprit because of the millions of bacteria which, if left on the teeth and gums, can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease which requires treatment and improved oral hygiene treatment to help fight it. Ignored and untreated, gingivitis can progress to an even more serious gum disease called periodontitis. Bleeding disorders, leukemia, vitamin K deficiency, or blood thinners are some other causes. It’s very important to talk with your dentist or physician to identify the cause of gum bleeding in order to treat it.
Hygiene Tips to Healthier Gums
The good news is there are many ways to improve one’s oral health and eliminate bleeding gums. Establishing an effective hygiene routine each day is a great place to start to help treat and prevent gum bleeding and get a healthier mouth.
Brushing properly with a soft-bristle toothbrush in a circular motion will stimulate gums and strengthen the tissue that protects the teeth. Many patients report good improvement in gum health with using an electric toothbrush as most have a built-in timer and motion to properly stimulate the gums and ensure adequate cleaning time. Your dentist and hygienist can recommend products which will treat the gums that are not available elsewhere. The proper toothpaste will help to neutralize the plaque around the gum line, and the foaming action helps carry away plaque and food debris.
Flossing is one of the most effective ways to help prevent bleeding gums and achieve good oral health. Proper flossing will remove plaque and food particles under the gum line between the teeth that lead to bleeding gums.
Avoid tobacco! Nothing good will come from the use of tobacco.
See your dentist regularly. By maintaining regular check ups and hygiene appointments, plaque and tartar, the hardened form of plaque, can be removed which can’t be removed at home with regular brushing. Routine visits can prevent early gum disease from progressing to a more serious status.
Bleeding gums serve as a warning that one’s oral health is suffering. At St. Anthony Village Dentistry, we actively educate our patients on how to best care for their gums and avoid more serious conditions. We provide the best treatment to keep your entire mouth healthier and reduce or prevent gum bleeding. Give our office a call, 612-781-9270, to make your appointment today.