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Bleeding Gums When Brushing: Should I Be Worried?

Gum bleeding can be a sign of a variety of dental health problems, many of which are quite serious and require immediate attention. Our Ottawa dentists explain how to prevent and treat bleeding gums, as well as when more serious concern is warranted.

Bleeding Gums - What are they and what do they mean?

Gum bleeding is not a common side effect of brushing. Nonetheless, many Canadians experience bleeding while brushing and may dismiss it as unimportant or requiring immediate attention. This is frequently incorrect. It is best to address bleeding or inflamed gums as soon as possible, regardless of whether they are currently causing pain.

Understanding Causation - How could I end up with bleeding gums?

While bleeding gums may occur occasionally as a result of wearing dentures that are too tight or brushing your teeth too vigorously, more frequent gum bleeding may indicate more serious conditions or dental care issues, such as gum disease.

Gingivitis & Periodontitis - What are they and what do they have to do with bleeding gums?

When you do not brush and floss properly, plaque accumulates along the gum line and can quickly harden into tartar. Gingivitis - the initial stage of gum disease - can cause puffy, sore, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis can develop into more serious conditions.

Periodontitis is the second, more severe stage of gum disease. It is an infection of the tissues and bones that connect your teeth and gums that can eventually result in bone and tooth loss. Oftentimes, progression to this point necessitates the extraction of certain teeth as part of treatment.

Bleeding While Brushing - What should I do next if my gums bleed during brushing?

While you should see your dentist at the first sign of bleeding gums to have your periodontal health evaluated, you can take some preventative and treatment measures at home. These steps are numerous, and this article is not exhaustive, but following them can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering hares. Among these steps are the following:

  • Brush your teeth after each meal and before bed with gentle fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. While increased bleeding may occur initially, additional attention to oral hygiene can help the bleeding gums heal more efficiently in the long run.
  • Floss a minimum of once per day. Be sure to keep your floss somewhere highly visible, to help increase your likelihood of remembering to floss and protect your dental hygiene. 
  • Consider purchasing an electric toothbrush to assist you in cleaning your mouth more effectively. Many electric toothbrushes include sensors that indicate when you've brushed enough, which is another reason why using them is frequently associated with fewer dental health problems.
  • Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash. You should be able to purchase a mouthwash that meets this criterion at your neighbourhood pharmacy. If you're unsure what you're looking for, consult the pharmacist.
  • Consult your dentist every six months and report any changes, soreness, or sensitivity to them. Routine professional examinations can be effective when it comes to maintaining good oral health. Your dentist will not only perform a cleaning but should also conduct a thorough examination to ensure your mouth is free of any oral diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis.

Your dentist is a critical ally in the daily fight against gum disease and other oral health problems, acting as a load-bearing pillar supporting the temple of "improving your oral hygiene." Thus, it is critical to schedule professional cleanings regularly. He or she can also offer advice on proper oral hygiene, brushing and flossing techniques for reaching those hard-to-reach areas of the mouth.

Depending on the cause of your bleeding gums, your dentist may take new dental impressions or may prescribe a vigorous dental care routine to help you regain good gum health.

To learn more about how to maintain good dental health or to schedule an exam and cleaning, contact our Rideau Dental Centre dentists today.

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