Why do my gums bleed? And is it something I should be concerned about?
The main cause of bleeding gums is a condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammatory response to plaque and calculus left along the gingival region of the tooth and gum when inadequate tooth brushing and oral hygiene occur. When teeth are brushed and this inflamed gingival tissue is disrupted the gums will bleed as a response.
1. How to prevent gingivitis
Maintain good oral hygiene habits at home – brushing 2x daily for 2 -3 minutes
Floss daily to remove the debris between the teeth that the toothbrush can’t reach
Limit sugar intake
Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Over time plaque will harden with minerals within the saliva and a hard bacterial layer will form called calculus. Calculus can only be removed by a dental professional, which is why we recommend an appropriate professional hygiene appointment tailored to your individual needs. Most people are on a 3, 6 or 12 month regime. If calculus is left untreated periodontal disease can happen. By combining this regular active maintenance with adequate oral healthcare at home, you will minimise your chance of developing gingivitis.
Other causes of bleeding gums are pregnancy gingivitis, auto-immune conditions, periodontitis and many other serious health conditions. It is important that a health professional conducts a full health assessment of your teeth and supporting structures to make sure your treatment is tailored to your specific needs.
2. How gingivitis can be avoided
Most of the time gingivitis can be avoided by brushing teeth for 2-3 minutes daily and proper flossing technique. Flossing removes the plaque and debris between the teeth that the toothbrush can’t reach, reducing the bacteria levels between the teeth and along the gum line. Then brush your teeth with the Bass technique – aim the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gingiva and with a small circular motion gently move the brush over the tooth surface and carefully massage the gums. Move from quadrant to quadrant brushing the outer, inner and top surface of all the teeth.
3. Treatment for gingivitis
Treating gingivitis consists of a thorough examination and hygiene appointment which will include an assessment, treatment planning, removal of plaque and calculus, tooth brushing instructions, diet advice and relevant information that is easy to follow at home between dental appointments. Bleeding gums is a sign that it is time to seek professional advice from your dental practitioner. If you need any advice please call our friendly dental clinic in Perth, Claremont Dental, to organise an appointment or book online today.
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