Should my Gums Bleed While Brushing?

should gums bleed

should gums bleedRaleigh. NC

Sensitive gums can sometimes bleed a bit when brushing or flossing, especially if someone is brushing too hard with a hard-bristled toothbrush or flossing aggressively. Minimal bleeding is normal and not generally a cause for concern. If, however, your gums are red, swollen and irritated, or if they bleed frequently while brushing and flossing, it’s time to reevaluate your oral hygiene routine and visit a dentist for a professional cleaning.

Most Americans will experience some level of gum disease in their lives; in fact, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar, gum disease grows in stages, starting as gingivitis and, if left untreated, evolving into advanced gum disease, or periodontitis.

Here’s the good news: Proper brushing and flossing, combined with two regular, professional teeth cleanings per year, help prevent tooth decay and, consequently, the development of gum disease.

Are you curious about the warning signs of gum disease? Our Raleigh-area dentists are sharing some signs to look for and also how to prevent and, if necessary, correct gum disease:

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease starts as a cavity does: usually by neglecting parts of an oral hygiene regime, including twice-yearly visits to the dentist. But more specifically, it starts when saliva and tooth surfaces host normal bacteria in the mouth that feed on what a person eats, including food particles between teeth if they aren’t brushed or flossed out. This eventually turns into a build-up of plaque and tartar, which attracts even more bacteria. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits to our dentists in Cary work to prevent this buildup and, in turn, gum disease. But without preventative measures, bacteria will continue to feed and grow, creating pockets and channels that allow the bacteria to travel further down the tooth’s surface. Gums start receding, paving the way for the bacteria to cover the entire surface of the tooth and reach its root pocket. This causes infections and weakens the tooth’s roots, ultimately leading to tooth loss.

How is gum disease treated?

How gum disease is treated depends on its severity.

Gingivitis If gum disease is caught in the early, or gingivitis, stage, it can sometimes be reversed by simply strengthening oral hygiene practices, including staying on track with regular checkups and professional cleanings with our Apex-area dentists. 

Periodontal Disease If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, which carries far more serious possible consequences, including tooth loss. Periodontal disease and more serious cases of gingivitis almost always require a deep clean in which dentists use special instruments and techniques to gently scrape away bacteria, plaque and tartar deposits on the lower surfaces of teeth down to the roots. This procedure, which can sometimes require more than one appointment, helps clean plaque and tartar above and below the gum line, effectively stopping the advancement of gum disease and the possibility of tooth loss.

What are the signs/symptoms of gum disease?

  • Red, swollen and/or receding gums
  • Gums that bleed during and after brushing teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Changes in the way the teeth fit when biting down
  • Gums pulling away from teeth
  • Loose or shifting teeth

Periodontist in  Raleigh, North Carolina

If you need anything from a regular dental checkup/cleaning to treatment for gum disease, our Raleigh periodontists at Triangle Periodontics are attentive and knowledgeable and always employ leading-edge technology to provide accurate diagnoses and treatments. If you notice bleeding gums, inflammation, or redness, Triangle Periodontics invites you to call (919) 782-9536 or contact us online to request an appointment today.