You’re going about your normal routine of brushing and flossing, and you spit out the toothpaste and notice a bit of pink. You may also see some bleeding when you floss. A small amount of blood may be a normal occurrence to you but it’s definitely not something that should be ignored. Causes of sore or bleeding gums can be signs of several things ranging from a change in oral care routine, to gum disease (gingivitis) or even a side effect of pregnancy. If you notice your gums bleeding here is what you should do.

Improve Your Oral Health Care Routine

According to the National Dental and Craniofacial Research group, plaque buildup along the gum line is the number 1 cause of sore and bleeding gums. If you aren’t properly brushing and flossing, the plaque caused by the foods you eat continues to build, resulting in tartar. Tartar is a hardened version of plaque. This continually irritates the gums causing them to bleed or even progress into gum disease. The best way to fight plaque and tartar buildup is to step up your oral care game.

Use a fluoride toothpaste along with a soft bristled tooth brush at least twice daily. Follow each brushing with a flossing and a 30-second rinse with mouthwash. Usually, with a consistent routine like this, your gums will stop bleeding. Seeing your dentist for a checkup and cleaning on a regular basis is also a good way to stay ahead of any oral health problems. The recommended schedule for visiting your dentist is twice per year, or every 6 months.

Tools to a Healthy Mouth

Toothbrush Bleeding GumsIf you already brush and floss on a normal basis and you’re visiting your dentist on schedule every 6 months, it could be that your oral hygiene tools are causing your gums to bleed. Some people prefer to use a medium or firm-bristled brush because it feels like a better clean. However, regular use of a harder bristled toothbrush can actually irritate your gums to the point of soreness and even bleeding. The ADA recommends an extra soft or soft-bristled brush to reduce irritation to the gums if you notice gum irritation.

In some cases the tools may not be at fault. It could be the way you’re using them. Brush every surface of all your teeth, but always use a gentle hand when brushing to reduce any irritation to the gum line. When flossing, navigate gently around each tooth towards the gum line and avoid pressing too hard into the gums. Don’t use a slicing back and forth method—use an upward motion lifting away from the gum line and pressing against the sides of each tooth when flossing. After a few weeks of regular flossing using the correct method, you will likely notice a huge decline in bleeding and sore gums.

A Healthy Diet Plays a Major Role

The foods you eat, the drinks you drink, and when you eat plays a big part in keeping your mouth and your gums healthy. Foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugar or simple carbohydrates (such as potato chips, breakfast cereal, soft drinks, and candy) increase the likelihood of developing gum and oral health problems. This is not to say that you have to completely cut out sweets and snacks, but if you do eat them in moderation, make it a point to brush or swish with mouthwash afterwards to avoid letting that sugar stick around on your teeth and gums.

Certain Medications Can Cause Bleeding Gums

The next time you visit your doctor and he or she prescribes a medication, make sure to ask what that medication may do to your mouth. Generally, medicine is designed to treat an issue but there are always adverse side effects and sometimes those side effects can show up in your oral health. Typically, but not limited to medicines used to treat high blood pressure, depression, allergies, cancer, and even the common cold may adversely affect your oral health. It’s important to let your dentist know what medications you’re on as well so we can take that into consideration during your examinations.

If All Else Fails

If after adjusting your oral health routine, you still notice problems and you aren’t currently visiting a dental professional on a regular basis, it is definitely a good time to book an appointment. Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is an award-winning dental clinic located in Alpharetta, Georgia and treating patients from all across the Forsyth and Atlanta area. Please contact us to schedule a new patient exam. We specialize in periodontal problems and accept many forms of insurance! Contact us at 678-393-1868 or through the form below.

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