Are your gums bleeding? It’s not uncommon, but it’s nothing to take lightly, either. Spitting blood after you brush your teeth or having it on your dental floss can signify trouble and the need to visit a professional. In this week’s blog post, your periodontist in Boston shares the top 5 reasons gums bleed — is one of them affecting your oral health? If so, it may be time to visit Dr. Alexander Schrott.
By far the most common cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis, or the very first stage of gum disease. It is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria that builds up in the spaces between your teeth and periodontal (gum) tissue. Left untreated, gingivitis progresses to full-blown periodontitis and can lead to the loss of teeth and a host of related health problems. Other side effects alongside bleeding gums include persistent bad breath and red or swollen gum tissue.
The use of certain medications can also increase your risk of bleeding gums. Medicines that prevent the blood from clotting will make it more difficult for the bleeding to stop if it starts while you brush or floss. You can talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching your medication if it becomes a significant problem.
#3: Getting Back to Flossing
If you are trying to pick up a new flossing habit for 2018, you may notice bleeding gums as your periodontal tissue adjusts. Getting out of the habit can harm your gum health and cause gingivitis (remember point #1?), which will cause the tissue to get red and bleed when you floss again. It should stop after a few days, but if it doesn’t, schedule an appointment with your dentist or periodontist. You may need treatment for gum disease.
#4: New Toothbrush/Aggressive Brushing
Just like your gums may need a little time to adjust to a new flossing routine, they may bleed right at first if you have recently re-upped your toothbrush — especially if you got one with firm bristles. Brushing too aggressively can also injure your gum tissue and cause it to bleed. If your new brush is resulting in bleeding gums, consider brushing more gently or going back to a soft-bristled brush.
#5: Pregnancy Gingivitis
A special form of gingivitis may occur in pregnant women. Appropriately termed “pregnancy gingivitis,” the effects are usually mild and temporary. Still, it’s a good idea to visit a professional for routine monitoring.
Now that you know a little more about the causes of bleeding gums, consider changing habits or visiting your periodontist in Boston for gum disease treatment if you need it. Your oral and overall health rely on clean, healthy, pink gums!
About the Author
Dr. Alexander Schrott is an expert periodontist providing gum disease treatment, dental implants, and other procedures for patients in and around Boston. To learn more about his services or to schedule an appointment, do not hesitate to contact the office at 617-484-9240.