The 101 on Bleeding Gums: Cause for Concern or Normal Side Effect of Brushing?

Tulsa family dentalExcessive brushing and flossing may cause your gums to bleed lightly, but you should consult your dentist if it happens often. Bleeding of the gums may be an early sign of an underlying dental issue that requires treatment before it becomes more serious. Using this guide on possible causes of bleeding gums, you will understand why visiting your dentist is necessary.

Plaque Buildup

The buildup of plaque along your gum line is a common cause of bleeding gums. Even with proper brushing and professional cleanings, your teeth and gums may still develop plaque.

If left on your teeth and gums, plaque can lead to gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Gum disease not only causes your gums to bleed and swell, but they will also become tender. If you are dealing with bleeding gums due to gum disease, consult your family dental professional for treatment to prevent a more serious case of periodontitis.

Medications or Other Health Issues

Certain medications may also be causing your gums to bleed. Taking blood-thinning medications, which decrease your blood’s clotting ability, may result in light bleeding of the gums during and after brushing and flossing.

Also, many medications have side effects such as dry mouth. Dry mouth decreases the production of saliva in your mouth, which increases your risk of bleeding, swollen gums. When taking antihistamines, decongestants, pain medications, and sedatives, ask your doctor about this possible side effect.

If you are pregnant, you may also experience light bleeding of your gums. The hormonal changes of pregnancy can increase the risk of infections such as gum disease. In most cases, pregnancy gingivitis will clear up shortly after delivery.

Using the Wrong Toothbrush

If you are experiencing bleeding gums while or after brushing, you may be using the wrong toothbrush. Switch from a hard-bristled toothbrush to one with soft bristles for a gentle, yet effective brushing experience. Ask your dental professional for suggestions on the best brush for your specific oral health needs.

If your gums are bleeding periodically, contact our skilled team at Howl Dental for a complete evaluation. After the exam, you will learn the best option for treating this common dental problem. Call 918-749-1626 today to schedule your visit.