Are Bleeding Gums Serious?
If you find that you have gums which are bleeding, you may not be sure why that’s the case if you have not injured your mouth. It’s important to remember that bleeding gums are common and do not always indicate a serious problem. Depending on your specific situation, taking better care to brush, floss, and maintain regular dental appointments will help stop and even prevent future gum bleeding.
There are several typical reasons why your gums would bleed which include:
- Brushing your teeth too infrequently or less than twice a day as recommended
- Not using a recommended soft bristled tooth brush and using a hard or stiff one instead
- Using a toothbrush too long, not replacing your toothbrush regularly, or continuing to use a worn-down toothbrush
- Improperly using dental floss, pressing the floss between your teeth towards your gums too aggressively, or not running the floss along the sides of your teeth carefully towards your gumline
- Use of certain vitamin supplements and medications like ibuprofen, blood thinners, aspirin, fish oil, and ginseng
- Having gum disease or gingivitis
If your gums are bleeding as a result of using an old toothbrush that is no longer effective at cleaning your teeth and gums, then your bleeding gums do not need to be a serious concern. On the other hand, if you notice some blood every time you brush and floss, then you may need to schedule an appointment with the dentist for an exam and cleaning. Most people experience bleeding gums as a result of a tartar and plaque buildup along the gums and the consequential gum irritation and possible infection.
The best way to keep your gums healthy and free from bleeding is to establish good habits. You will be able to prevent gum disease and inflammation by maintaining a consistent routine. It starts with brushing and flossing at least twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and using an oral rinse. Be sure to keep your appointments with the dentist once every six months for an exam and cleaning. Your physician may already be encouraging you to drink more water and to eat more whole foods low in sugar; consider this to be the same encouragement from the dentist. With these habits you will be less likely to cause even your sensitive gums to bleed.
If you find that your mouth, teeth, or gums have started to change, making an appointment with the dentist can help stop a problem before it worsens and the treatment becomes more invasive. Rarely do dental problems just resolve themselves without professional intervention. If your gums are painful, bleeding, irritated, and red every day, you need to address that; it is not normal for you to experience that consistently. The dentist may be able check for gum disease, infections, or damage to teeth below the gumline that is not visible.
Should your gum bleeding start to include a fever or swelling, you should reach out to the dentist or your physician as your bleeding gums have increased in seriousness. A dentist or doctor will be able to review your complete medical history and determine if a vitamin deficiency or a medication is the root cause of your problem. By changing your medications, adding a vitamin C supplement, or diagnosing other medical conditions, your gums will find relief. Pregnant women may find that their gums are more sensitive and more likely to bleed that they were prior to pregnancy so the dentist may have suggestions to help.