Bleeding anywhere in your body isn’t normal. When it occurs after brushing and flossing it means something in your mouth needs attention. But it’s tempting to ignore. After all, there isn’t any pain. But healthy gums shouldn’t bleed easily.

Here’s a checklist of potential causes of bleeding gums arranged in order of increasing concern.

New toothbrush – If you’ve switched from soft to hard bristles, you could experience some bleeding. Get back to using a soft bristle brush. You should see things improve.

Whiten teeth – Certain mouth rinses promise to give you a brighter and whiter smile. These rinses contain a bleaching agent. Hydrogen peroxide is a popular one. It helps remove stains and whiten teeth with repeated use.

Shark with mouth open.

 

Do your gums look or feel like this? Time for an appointment!

Help prevent gum disease – An antiseptic or anti-plaque mouthwash can help inhibit the growth of bacteria. This can help curb periodontal diseases such as gingivitis. The active ingredients in these mouth rinses may include triclosan and thymol.

Aggressive brushing – Is your brushing technique too forceful? Many believe that harder brushing results in cleaner teeth. Not true. While you need some pressure, think of it more like a gentle massage. If the bristles on your toothbrush appear splayed, you may be pressing too hard.

Flossing changes – If you change the frequency of your flossing, your gums may bleed. If you’re new to flossing, or you miss a day or two, you may see a bit of blood. But it should stop after a day or two. If you have bleeding every time you floss, it may mean you have gingivitis.

Gingivitis – This is the first stage of gum disease. It’s a painless condition in which plaque collects below the gum line. This causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. Which creates pockets that can collect food particles and breed bacteria. Professional cleaning and better oral hygiene can turn things around. If not, the process worsens.

Periodontitis – The plaque has now hardened into tarter. The gums are suffering from a serious infection. There is damage to soft tissue and the bone that support the teeth. The infection can increase inflammation throughout the body. Chronic bad breath, painful chewing and affected teeth can loosen and be lost.

Thankfully, bleeding gums can be prevented. The winning formula is simple:

1. Brush at least twice a day
2. Floss at least once a day
3. Limit snacking between meals
4. Avoid sugary foods and drinks
5. Stop all tobacco use
6. De-stress your life
7. Get regular dental checkups

Put an end to pink in the sink when you brush your teeth. Schedule a visit to our practice. We’ll help identify if your gums are bleeding, what the cause is, and help get it under control.