Bleeding gums are a problem for many people. There are several reasons why your gums may be bleeding- but no matter what the reason is, you should talk to your dentist about what is happening when you brush. In most cases of bleeding gums, Dr. Erpenbach can provide an effective treatment to cure the condition and get patients back to great oral health.
Reasons behind bleeding gums include:
Gingivitis. Gingivitis is an irritation of the gums that causes inflammation, redness, and swelling. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is treatable and reversible with good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings. Dr. Erpenbach encourages patients to brush at least twice each day, taking care to use proper techniques. He also suggests that patients floss at least once per day to remove food and plaque that cause gingivitis.
Improper Brushing. Some patients are heavy handed when brushing their teeth. This means they brush too hard or linger in one spot, damaging gum tissue and wearing it away. It is also important to use the right bristled brush, too. Dr. Erpenbach suggests that patients use soft-bristled brushes to protect the gums.
Medications. Some medications, like blood thinners, cause the gums to become irritated and bleed when brushing or flossing. If you’re on blood thinners, let your dentist know that you are on this medication, and find out their suggestions to manage your bleeding gums.
Flossing. Flossing may cause gums to bleed if you are starting a flossing routine for the first time. If your gums bleed while flossing, you may need a lighter touch until your gums become used to your new habit.
Pregnancy. The hormonal changes of pregnancy can cause gingivitis in some women. During pregnancy, gums become tender and swollen. Women experiencing pregnancy gingivitis take extra care to brush and floss regularly to prevent their condition from worsening into periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease than can lead to low birth weight and premature babies.
Patients with bleeding gums may be at risk for developing more serious gum conditions that could lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and in some cases, more serious health conditions that impact cardiac and pulmonary health. Periodontitis has also been linked to early onset of dementia and the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Do you have bleeding gums? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Erpenbach today for a complete dental checkup by calling 865-584-8630.