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If you have noticed that your gums bleed when you brush and floss, you may be worried about your oral health — and with good reason. It’s not time to panic, but you should learn why gums bleed and what it means for the state of your smile. Making small changes now can prevent bleeding gums from progressing into a more serious issue later on. Keep reading to learn more on the subject from your dentist near Pewaukee.
Why Are My Gums Bleeding When I Floss?
There are several factors that can cause the gums to bleed, but the number one reason is gum disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this condition affects nearly half of American adults. Gum disease occurs when the bacteria that exists in your mouth makes a home in the space between your teeth and gums. And when your gums are red, tender, and inflamed due to the resulting infection, they are more likely to bleed once they come into contact with dental floss or the bristles on your toothbrush. Bleeding gums are the number one indicator of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
Some other common factors that cause your gums to bleed include…
- Brushing too aggressively or using a toothbrush with firm bristles.
- Flossing for the first time after you have skipped a few days (or longer).
- Taking blood-thinning medications which prevent blood clotting.
- Pregnancy, which causes fluctuations in hormones that make the gums more susceptible to infection and bleeding.
How Can I Stop Bleeding Gums?
The best way to keep your gums healthy and infection-free is to maintain your good dental hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, and floss daily. When you come see us every six months, we will evaluate your gum health, remove plaque and bacteria buildup around the gum line, and help you maintain better hygiene at home to prevent gum disease.
Elmbrook Family Dental also provides periodontal therapy to heal gums that bleed as a result of gingivitis or gum disease. In the beginning stages, improved hygiene at home and a couple additional cleanings may be enough to reverse the infection. Moderate levels of gum disease may require nonsurgical scaling and root planing, during which your dentist cleans above and below the gum line, then smooths the tooth’s root to prevent reinfection.
Some additional tips to help stop bleeding gums include…
- Brushing in gentle, circular motions rather than hard side-to-side strokes
- Switching to a toothbrush with soft bristles
- Developing a good flossing habit
- Using a fluoride toothpaste
- Adding an antimicrobial mouthrinse to your hygiene routine
Protect Your Smile – See Us Today!
Don’t forget that the best way to enjoy better gum health for a long time to come is to visit your Pewaukee dentist regularly. When was your last appointment at Elmbrook Family Dental? Contact us to schedule an appointment today!