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If Your Gums Bleed, Is Gum Disease the Only Cause?

Mar 13, 2017

Noticing blood after brushing or flossing your teeth can be unsettling. It is usually a warning for the earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, which should be treated right away. While gum disease is a common cause of bleeding gums, it is not the only one.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive infection that starts bacteria attacking the gums. As the tissue becomes infected and inflamed, bacteria fall below and start attacking the teeth, connective tissues and jawbone.

Untreated gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to gum recession and tooth loss, and requires dental intervention right away.

Vigorous Brushing

Brushing is done to remove plaque and bacteria, as well as some stains, from the surfaces of your teeth. It would only seem natural that in order to remove more, you should brush harder, or use a harder bristled toothbrush. However, brushing too vigorously can actually be detrimental. Your gum tissue is delicate, and brushing too hard can scrape the tissue and lead to bleeding.

Changing Your Flossing Routine

Flossing is another essential part of the oral hygiene routine, done to remove plaque, food particles and bacteria from the hard to reach spaces between your teeth. Normal flossing doesn’t often cause bleeding. However, if you haven’t flossed in several days, start flossing more frequently, or start flossing too hard, you can irritate your gums, which can then lead to bleeding.

Medication

Certain medications thin your blood and affect its ability to clot. As a result, your gums may bleed easier, even with normal brushing and flossing. It is important to always keep your dentist informed of any medications you might be taking and be aware of their side effects.

Pregnancy

Your body undergoes rather significant hormonal changes when pregnant. These changes can alter the way your gums react to certain oral bacteria. Many women experience pregnancy gingivitis. A regular oral hygiene routine and visits to your dentist can help stop the issue from getting worse, and gingivitis usually clears up after birth.

While gum disease is often a cause for bleeding gums, it is not the only one. However, it is important to contact our office when experiencing bleeding gums in order to determine the cause and receive proper treatment.