March 30, 2019
Bleeding gums are a serious oral health concern that you should never ignore. Possible causes of the problem include improper brushing or flossing, medication side effects, and gingivitis. It’s important to see your dentist in Putnam for treatment right away if you suffer from this condition. Otherwise you might face ongoing pain, lost teeth, and infected gums.
Leading Causes of Bleeding Gums
While there are many possible causes of bleeding gums, in most cases the problem is due to one of the following factors:
- Improper brushing or flossing technique: examples include brushing too hard, flossing too close to the gum line, and using a hard bristled brush.
- Medication side effects: blood thinners are the most common example. If the problem continues, then you should talk to your doctor about changing your dosing regimen. Never discontinue a medication without approval from your healthcare provider.
- Gingivitis: this is the first phase of gum disease, the stage at which the condition can usually be reversed without lasting damage to the patient’s oral health. Left unchecked, the problem can progress to full-blown gum disease, a condition which requires prompt treatment to prevent widespread tooth loss.
Treating Bleeding Gums
Making an appointment with your Putnam dentist is the first step towards treating bleeding gums. He or she will perform a complete oral exam to determine the cause of the problem. Therapy may take any or all of the following forms:
- Coaching on brushing and flossing techniques: your dentist may recommend switching to a different toothbrush, using a low-abrasive tooth paste, or trying a different type of floss string. He or she may also suggest a different brushing technique to avoid irritating the gums.
- Adjusting your medications: the dentist may authorize this step after consulting with your regular healthcare provider.
- Treating for gingivitis or gum disease: Gingivitis can usually be resolved with a standard tooth cleaning followed up by regular brushing and flossing. Your dentist may also prescribe an anti-plaque mouthwash to help control the problem. Full-blown gum disease may require more extensive treatment, including scaling and root planing to allow the gums to re-adhere to the teeth.
Preventing Bleeding Gums
Most cases of bleeding gums are caused by inadequate oral hygiene. You can lower your risk for the problem by observing the following guidelines:
- Brushing and flossing: follow the “2×2” brushing rule: brush for a full two minutes at least twice per day, using a soft bristle toothbrush and a toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance on the packaging.
- Eating a sensible diet: teeth and gums need plenty of nutrients from food that are rich in protein, complex carbs, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Examples include lean cuts of meat or fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, or legumes, and reduced-fat dairy products.
- Drinking plenty of water: H2O is essential for producing adequate amounts of saliva, an important body liquid with powerful anti-plaque properties.
- Avoiding tobacco, vaping devices, and illicit drugs: all of these substances can have devastating consequences for your health.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of a serious oral health problem. Use the tips in this post to reduce your chances of suffering from the condition. With a little care, you’ll soon be smiling again.
About the Author
Dr. Eleni Milas has been practicing dentistry for almost 20 years. A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Dentistry, she has the knowledge and skills needed to treat a wide range of dental problems, including gingivitis and gum disease. You can reach her office online or by calling (860) 928-3723.
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