Bleeding gums is nothing unusual. You probably get bleeding gums when you don’t floss carefully, or if your toothbrush bristles are too hard. It’s not a dental emergency to rush to you dentist. But it can be a huge bother to taste blood in your mouth a little bit too often, and you’re not a prized fighter or even into MMA. There’s no glory in bleeding gums. Here, we’ve listed all the reasons you may have bleeding gums, when to see a doctor or your family dentist, and how to prevent bleeding gums in the first place.
Mind Your Tools
If you have problems with bleeding gums, never, ever choose toothbrushes with hard bristles. Even medium bristles can be difficult, pick the softest bristle brush you can find. Soft bristle brushes need to be replaced more frequently because they fray and fall apart faster. But its the only way you’ll minimize gum bleeding if your gums are sensitive. You may also want to use waxed dental floss, instead of regular floss. Waxed dental floss is slightly more expensive, but they glide between the teeth a little smoother.
Mind Your Technique
Brushing and flossing techniques are just as important to oral hygiene as the proper tools, if not more. Pressing too hard on the toothbrush will prick the gums and may cause bleeding. Flossing and pressing down too hard between the teeth can also cause bleeding. This usually happens if you’re still learning to floss or getting used cleaning new teeth with braces, bridges, or implants. Kids who are still developing their motor skills also get a lot of bleeding from poor technique, but this will improve with practice and gentle encouragement.
What if You Have Gum Disease
Gum disease is more common than most people realize, 3 out of 4 Americans over the age of 35 will get gum disease. Most have what is called gingivitis, and less than 20% of you will have a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. Gingivitis is not painful, you might not even notice you have it, maybe you notice your gums are a little red and swollen, tend to bleed a little more often, but no big deal. Gingivitis is easy to heal, just get on a daily flossing and brushing habit. Most people take care of gingivitis, once they notice that gingivitis also smells and can even leave a bad taste on the tongue. If gingivitis gets worse and develops into periodontitis, you’ll know because your gums are really red, swollen, and they hurt. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States, seek a dentist as soon as you can to save your teeth. This is one of those times when you need to forgo the home remedies and go straight to the office of your family dentist.
Bleeding After a Dental Cleaning
Some people are more prone to bleeding than others. We do get patients who rarely experience bleeding after a cleaning, but this all depends, everyone is different. If you do get some bleeding, it’s normal and should stop soon after. If your teeth are all good, and you have no sensitivity, the fastest way to constrict blood vessels and stop bleeding pronto, is to eat some ice cream or a Popsicle, just get something cold in there. A cold treat should also bring down any swelling and help you relax after a grueling ordeal on the dentist’s chair.
Bleeding After Tooth extraction
Getting a tooth removed might seem scary, but it’s not nearly as painful as keeping a tooth that’s infected or too far gone to be saved. Again, everybody has different tolerance for pain, some prescribed pain medication should take care of that. To stop the bleeding, your friendly Spokane Valley dentist could ask you to bite on a cotton roll to put pressure on the wound. This usually stops most of the bleeding, you can repeat this if you start bleeding again. Eating cold foods help, just make sure it’s not sugary, or that will add bacteria to your mouth. Cold helps reduce swelling and numbs pain.
You’re a Smoker
It’s not unusual for smokers to experience sensitive gums that bleed more than normal. Tobacco creates a dry mouth, which increases bacteria in the mouth that can cause gum disease. If you get chronic gum disease and smoke, you know what’s causing it. Smokers are three to six times more likely to have unhealthy gums, compared to nonsmokers, and they are more difficult to treat. Tobacco slows blood flow to the gums, killing cells and makes healing more difficult. If you’re a smoker, you might not get as much visible blood and swelling as other patients, and the true, poor condition of your gums is hidden, but the tooth and bone loss that occurs after, is undeniable.
The tide of hormones affect the lives of women in so many ways, including women’s gums. Some women experience swelling and sensitivity in the gums when their hormone levels are highest, such as pregnancy but also during cycles of the their menstruation and the more heightened years of puberty. The worst is pregnancy, women towards the last trimester can expect to experience some bleeding gums. There’s really nothing you can do about hormones, it’s just the way nature works. But you can do as much as you can to keep up great oral hygiene and avoid infections that lead to gum disease. Also, be gentle with your gums and use a soft bristle brush and mild toothpaste. It is also very important not to stress, because getting stressed increase hormone cortisol, which in turn, only increases inflammation everywhere, not just your gums.
You Have Diabetes
Diabetics are prone to bleeding gums and gum disease. Even very young children with diabetes can get serious gum disease, when this more commonly happens to adults above the age of 35. Diabetes affects blood flow in a such a way that you become more prone to infections, and one of the first places this will show is your gums. So if you know you have diabetes, seek a Spokane Valley dentist that knows how to treat diabetics with especially sensitive gums.
You’re a Secret Cheek Biter
Some people are teeth grinders, nail bitters, even hair pullers, but did you know that you can also express anxiety by biting the inside of your cheek. Some people do this while they’re sleeping and they never know it. They’re surprised when they all of a sudden wake up with bleeding gums. This sort of injury happens in the inside of the check, away from the teeth, at the gum level between your bite. These are not canker sores, which have a white center, red around the edges, caused by bacteria or a virus. But these injuries can get infected, so to speed up healing, keep up with salt and water rinses and good oral hygiene.
A few of our tips include using cold to suppress bleeding. This will work, but it won’t work for everybody, such as those who have bleeding gums because of an infection or because of sensitive gums due to gum disease. Cold therapy will work for an injury to the gums like flossing too hard. Those with sensitive gums and gum disease are better off staying away from extreme hot or cold food and drink, because it only agitates the delicate state of their gums.