Bleeding gums, what do I do?

Understanding why gum bleeding occurs is key to improving our oral health. Although the reasons that cause bleeding in the gums can be several, most of the time it is linked to poor oral hygiene. Not brushing your teeth and not using mouthwash and flossing can end up in gingivitis.

 

Dental advice

When observing the bleeding of the gums, the first thing to do is go to the dentist. This professional is who will assess what causes the bleeding.

 

What are the causes of bleeding gums?

Presence of dental plaque

Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy or puberty

Genetic factors

Any bleeding disorder

Poorly placed dentures

Brush hard

Misuse of dental floss

Use of fixed orthodontics

Use of anticoagulants

Diabetes, anemia or hepatitis and other diseases

Consumption of some drugs

Vitamin K deficiency

Stress

In the cases of periodontal disease, in addition to bleeding, other symptoms appear such as tooth sensitivity, redness of the gums, recession of the gums and bad breath due to accumulated tartar.

 

If my gums bleed ... what can I do?

As we mentioned before, the first step is to go to the dentist, because it is very important to define what causes gum bleeding. Most likely, it is gingivitis, an inflammatory gum disease. When diagnosing the causes of bleeding, the most appropriate treatment can be established.

 

To combat bleeding, specialists recommend professional dental cleaning, but if the causes of bleeding are due to advanced disease, a curettage and root smoothing will be necessary to completely eliminate the accumulated plaque.

 

Bleeding gums

 

How to prevent bleeding gums?

1. Visit the dentist periodically

It is necessary to visit the dentist every six months to assess whether it is necessary to perform a dental cleaning or rule out any periodontal disease

 

2. Brush correctly

Brushing correctly is not doing it vigorously, but gently. You should use a brush with a soft or medium hardness and do it a minimum of twice a day, although the ideal would be to do it after each meal.

 

3. Use dental floss

Dental floss has proven to be quite effective against the accumulation of plaque in the gums, so it is recommended to use it at least twice a day.

 

4. Improve your habits

A good diet and avoid the consumption of tobacco and alcohol will always influence good oral health.

 

5. Bleeding from some medication

If bleeding gums results from the side effects of any medication, it is best to consult a family doctor.

 

How should brushing be?

To avoid the accumulation of tartar, it is necessary to brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day, although the correct and most advisable thing is to do it after each meal. Brushing should be accompanied by the use of dental floss and mouthwash.

 

It is common for people to brush their teeth, pressing hard on the gums. This is totally counterproductive, since it no longer cleans the teeth but can lead to gum recession. Brushing should be done from top to bottom and not sideways, using a soft bristle brush (or an electric one, much better) and without pressing the gum.

 

How to care for the gums during an orthodontic treatment?

When there is an orthodontic treatment, dental cleaning is more difficult to perform. Braces make it difficult for brush bristles to clean teeth efficiently. For this reason, bacterial plaque accumulates more easily in patients with orthodontic treatment, in addition that the gums can weaken in inflammation. To follow proper dental cleaning, it is necessary to follow the following recommendations:

 

Brush your teeth 3 times a day and after each meal

Use dental floss to remove food debris

Use interdental brushes of the right size

Use a mouthwash at the end of cleaning


Dr. Armellini received her dental degree from the Central University of Venezuela. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a clinical fellowship in Implantology Prosthodontics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

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