Do you often see a few drops of blood when brushing or flossing your teeth? Although this problem is fairly common and may not seem like a big deal, it shouldn’t be ignored. Bleeding gums can occur for a number of reasons, but the most common is periodontal disease, or gum disease.
Gum disease occurs from plaque. Plaque can form when you don’t get all of the food and other particles out in between your teeth. These particles will eventually break down into bacteria and acids, which forms plaque. The plaque that is not properly removed by brushing and flossing with form a hard tarter than cannot be removed by regular brushing. The tarter and bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed. This is the first stage of gum disease, which is called gingivitis. The gums will become red and swollen, forming pockets containing blood blisters near your teeth. When you brush or floss, you break open the blood blisters causing the gums to bleed. Luckily, gingivitis can still be reversed with proper oral hygiene at this stage.
So how do you prevent the gums from bleeding in the first place?
1. Proper Oral Hygiene
Gingivitis is nearly 100% preventable with proper oral care. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and regular trips to the dentist can help you keep your gums healthy and your toothbrush clear of blood. Visiting the dentist regularly can help you get any particles that you may have missed with normal brushing and flossing.
2. Change Your Tools
If you still notice your gums bleeding with proper brushing and flossing, your toothbrush may be the reason for bleeding gums. Although it may seem counterintuitive, try to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles. The hard bristles do not clean your teeth better, but can actually cause irritation of the gums. You also may be using your toothbrush incorrectly. Remember to brush smarter, not harder. You do not need to apply much pressure to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums.
Unfortunately, yummy sugar-filled foods create the perfect environment for plaque. Keeping a healthy diet that is low in sugar and high in fruits and vegetables can help keep your gums from bleeding. Remember that you can still enjoy sweets, but do so in moderation!
Follow these tips to keep your gums healthy and prevent regular bleeding. If you have made the appropriate lifestyle changes and still have bleeding gums, please schedule an appointment with your dentist today!