Why do my gums bleed?

Do you see blood when you brush or floss your teeth?  If yes, you know this can be a little alarming. It can be on your toothbrush as well as when you rinse after brushing.  You know that this is not normal. There are many explanations for this occurrence.

1. Oral Hygiene- Not Brushing or Flossing can lead to plaque build-up on teeth and red swollen gums. Red, swollen, sore gums are not only painful, but could be a sign for a more serious issue.

2. Your Diet- We all know that we must watch our weight, but did you know that watching what we eat can also help boost our immunity and nourish the tissues of the gums? A diet with fruits, vegetables, Vitamin D, and Calcium is good for our teeth and gums.

3. Smoking – Toxins in cigarettes create inflammation and decrease our immunity.

4. Toothbrush- Brushing too hard with a firm toothbrush can damage the tissues and cause them to bleed.

5. Flossing- Flossing roughly can also damage the tissues. Ask the dental hygienist to show you the proper way to floss

6. Stress – This can cause the vessels to become inflamed which will break down the soft tissues. These damaged tissues can become inflamed or infected.

7. Genetics – Did you know that 35% of the population has a higher risk of dental disease? A DNA test can show your risk. Just ask your dental practitioner for more information

8. Alignment of your Bite- If you have teeth that aren’t “synced” up, or are not lined up properly, this can cause grinding, clenching, teeth hitting each other improperly.  This “bite” can cause tissues to become deteriorated and here comes the gum disease making a home.

9. Medications – There are some medications that are culprits of gum disease. They can cause dry mouth, hampering the saliva and blood flow to the tissues. This makes the gums more prone to an infection or inflammation. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you detect which medication or combination of medications could cause this condition.  They can also guide you as to what medications to change or other procedures that you can do to help prevent this.

10. Contagious – Yes, gum disease can be transferred from one person to another by the saliva.  This can be from sharing eating utensils, drinks, toothbrushes, and even kissing.

11. Pregnancy – Those hormones cause a lot of trouble, but did you know that they can cause havoc on your gums and tissues?  During your pregnancy, practice good oral hygiene.  Do this not only for you, but for your pregnancy and baby also.

12. Illness – Gum disease can be brought on by illnesses.  Leukemia and scurvy are just a couple of examples.  This is less common, but you may want to make an appointment with your physician for further testing.

We all know that gum disease is serious, but if caught in time it can be treated.  If not treated, it may lead to worse symptoms.  See your dentist regularly to have your teeth and gums cleaned, practice good oral hygiene as per the dental hygienists’ recommendations, and watch your diet.

About monicaneelydds

Dr. Monica Neely, DDS is a practicing Dentist in Edmond, OK. Dr. Neely graduated from University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and has been in practice for 24 years. She then completed Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Residency, a one-year post-graduate training in complex dental cases.

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