If you notice a little blood on your gums after brushing or flossing once or twice, it could be that you are brushing too hard or that you should use softer brushes or floss. But if you regularly notice blood, even just a drop or two, you should contact the Smile Center, as blood may be a sign of gum disease (gingivitis, periodontitis).
Gum Disease Causes & Symptoms
Bleeding gums or blood during and after brushing and flossing can result from vitamin deficiencies, side effects of medications including blood thinners, or as a result of serious medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, leukemia or scurvy. They could also be caused by relatively simple issues like an improperly fitted denture, bridge, or other oral devices, brushing too hard, or improperly flossing.
In addition to bleeding gums, periodontitis (severe gum disease) is frequently accompanied by:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Bad breath
- Receding gums or deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Changes in bite
- Discomfort chewing
While these symptoms are typical of gum diseases, there may be other underlying health concerns like oral cancer, leukemia or malnutrition that your dentist may diagnose and assist with coordinating treatment.
Treating Bleeding Gums & Gum Disease
Good oral health practices are key to preventing gum disease – which affects about 75% of all Americans at some time in their lives. They include not only brushing and flossing every day, but going to regular dental checkups at least twice yearly.
If you have gum disease, your dentists may recommend periodontal treatments like root scaling, root planning, and more frequent tooth cleanings.
Gum disease that develops into periodontitis leads eventually to the formation of deep pockets along the gum line where bacteria collects, causing gum recession and tooth loss, and can cause severe health issues like facial bone loss and even heart disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best offense against gingivitis and periodontitis is a good defense. Sound daily oral hygiene practices prevent gum disease, and early gum diseases (or gingivitis) can be reversed with proper oral care, regular dental cleanings, and dental exams. Because gum diseases are usually painless, you may not discover it until it’s too late, making your regular dental exams a critical tool in preventing and stopping gum disease