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Bleeding Gums: Cause For Concern?

August 22, 2016 By Dr. Rick Leppo

blog10Dental professionals often hear patients say, “My gums bleed when I brush my teeth. Should I be concerned?” If you’re wondering the same thing, you should know—when it comes to bleeding gums, there might be cause for concern.

While bleeding gums may be associated with many things, from gingivitis to pregnancy, dentists notice that plaque buildup along the gum line is often the main culprit. Here are a few things to do if you notice some bleeding:

Amp Up Your Oral Care Routine

When you eat, food particles and acids interact with bacteria in the mouth. If not removed in a timely manner, acids wear away at teeth, and plaque buildup will harden into tartar. Tartar irritates gum tissues, often resulting in bleeding. It’s important to understand—tartar is difficult to remove, and often requires a professional cleaning.

Consider Your Technique and Your Toothbrush

In some cases, brushing too aggressively or brushing with the wrong type of toothbrush can irritate gums. Remember, a toothbrush with firm bristles doesn’t mean that your teeth will be cleaner. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends a soft bristled toothbrush to clean teeth and gums. Patients are also instructed to use gentle strokes when brushing.

Take A Look At Your Diet

We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Well, your gums may reflect what you eat as well. Food containing lots of sugar and simple carbohydrates accelerates tooth decay by creating an environment for plaque to form. In turn, how often you eat is also important. For instance, allowing ample time between meals or snacks gives teeth the chance to regain minerals while eating.

Check Your Medicine Cabinet

Did you know that certain medications cause gums to bleed? Think about medications that may thin the blood, such as aspirin and other pain relievers. Do you take an over the counter medication regularly? Are you taking a prescription medication that may be to blame? If so, it’s a good idea to let your doctor know.

For the most part, when patients notice their gums bleeding during brushing or flossing, they are not always quick to step up their oral care at home or visit a dentist. Why? Many believe that a little bleeding is normal. Yet, dentists are urging patients not to ignore their bleeding gums.

Providing invaluable insight to patients, Columbia Dental Center provides preventative dentistry that is attentive and patient-centered. Do you have bleeding gums? The team at Columbia Dental Center is ready to welcome you today.

Posted on behalf of Columbia Dental Center

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