Bleeding anywhere on your body is always a cause for concern. Normally, we place a band-aid or gauze on the affected area to stop the bleeding. However, when it comes to your teeth and gums, it is tricky to stop the bleeding or identify the main cause of the problem. Bleeding can especially happen after brushing or flossing your teeth. So you’re probably wondering, what should I do if my gums bleed after brushing?
We have outlined the main causes of bleeding gums and provided solutions to help treat the condition.
Why do gums bleed?
Bleeding gums are caused by inadequate plaque removal. Plaque is a soft, sticky film which builds up on your teeth over time. It contains millions of bacteria that can cause tooth decay or gum disease, if you do not brush or floss regularly.
If you do not brush your teeth and plaque continues to build, your gums will become inflamed which may cause them to bleed. This is commonly known as gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis can be easily treated if you identify it early enough, so don’t leave it too late to see your dentist.
If plaque is left to build and is not removed, your gum will continue to separate and form cracks or gaps between your teeth and gums. The plaque will eventually harden and set into these gaps, causing gum disease.
Gum disease (known as Periodontitis) is one of the most common causes of bleeding gums. Periodontitis is a serious condition which can lead to bone and tooth loss. In addition, you may also contract an abscess on your teeth which can interfere with chewing.
Furthermore, gum disease has also been directly linked to health conditions such as:
- Type 1 & type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
Other causes of gum bleeding may be due to:
- A lack of vitamin C
- A lack of vitamin K
- Contracting hemophilia
What you can do to stop your gums from bleeding
If your gums continue to bleed after brushing, here are some household remedies you can use to stop the bleeding.
Maintain good oral hygiene
Bleeding gums may be a sign of bad oral hygiene. As a result, we recommend you brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes and floss daily. Good oral health is also very important for women who are pregnant. The fluctuations of hormones during pregnancy can also increase the likely hood of gum disease.
Apply ice to effected area
You can reduce the amount of bleeding after coming from your gums by simply applying an ice pack or cube to your gums. An ice pack will help sooth minor injuries that cause swelling in the teeth such as cuts or scrapes.
Use a mouthwash after brushing
Antibacterial mouthwashes can treat and prevent your gums from bleeding. They are known to reduce inflammation and to fight of bacteria within your gums and mouth. In addition, mouthwashes are also a great way to prevent gingivitis. Some common ingredients in mouthwashes are chlorohexidine and hydrogen peroxide.
Rinse your mouth with warm water and salt
Rinsing your mouth with saltwater can reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. You can do this by adding half a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Then, gently swish the salty water around your mouth for 15 – 30 seconds and spit the water out. You should repeat this several times a day to maintain great oral health or as instructed by your dentist.
When you should see a dentist
If your gums continue to bleed after brushing, you should see your dentist to monitor your oral health. Pain, redness or bleeding of the gums should not occur every day.
If you practice or maintain good oral hygiene and the problem still does not go away, you should see your dentist to prevent further issues such as gum disease.
Untreated gum disease can lead to infection or loss of teeth. Regular visits to you dentist can help identify bigger issues within your body such as cancer or diabetes.
Book an appointment today
At Coastal Dental Care, we understand that maintaining your oral health is a lifelong commitment. It is generally recommended to visit your dental professional for a check-up as 6-month intervals. If you have private health fund cover, these regular check-ups will be covered.