Do you see blood when you brush or bite into an apple?
Many people think that if they stop brushing in that region, the gums will not bleed. They couldn’t be more wrong. So, here are a few questions often asked about bleeding gums that we would want to clarify.
Why do gums bleed? Is it normal?
When people don’t practice proper dental hygiene, bacteria in the mouth form plaque on the teeth. These bacteria may cause your gums to become inflamed, which results in red, swollen, or bleeding gums. For many people with gingivitis, this inflammation is not painful. If you catch gingivitis early, it can be reversed and healed with proper oral hygiene. But left untreated, gingivitis can worsen and ultimately lead to the patient losing teeth.
My gums bleed while I brush my teeth. Should I be concerned? What should I do?
Gums bleed because you are not able to clean their teeth properly, nor your gums in this case. Bleeding gums, known as gingivitis, are very common, and nothing to be scared off. But it is the initial phase of gum disease (known as periodontitis) therefore should not be ignored. A lot of patients would stop brushing as soon as they see bleeding, but as a matter of fact they should keep on brushing, and actually brush more thoroughly and for longer time.
How can I clean my teeth effectively?
With regards to brushing, make sure you use gentle, circular motions to clean your teeth and gums. While many people use a back-and-forth motion, this motion can irritate and damage your gums, making them more and more likely to recede.
It is also important to make sure to not brush only the teeth, but also the gums. A good indicator is to brush along the gum line, the curve where the teeth and gum meet. A lot of bacteria can be found in these areas.
Flossing is also very important, to remove the bacteria in between the teeth, that your toothbrush alone just can’t get rid of. An electric brush is a helpful tool. A lot of times patient’s gums start bleeding when they floss after not having flossed in a long time. That is because the gums are inflamed from bacteria not being removed for a longer period of time. Usually bleeding gums will go away within a week or so if good oral hygiene is maintained, brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. To make sure that your flossing technique is not causing damage to your gums, be gentle when you floss. Rather than forcing the floss between your teeth, carefully slide it up and down, following the curve of each tooth.
Without regular teeth cleanings with your hygienist, dental tartar can become a breeding ground for even more plaque bacteria, which can creep below the gum line and lead to gum disease.