Are your gums bleeding when you brush?

Brushing your teeth daily is the cornerstone of a healthy tooth and gum hygiene routine.
But if your gums consistently bleed when you brush or floss, it could be the sign of a deeper problem, such as gum disease, that needs to be addressed immediately.
On the other hand, it could also indicate other factors, like pressing too hard with the toothbrush or a poor diet. There are many reasons our gums bleed – so here’s a quick guide for what you can do to solve the problem.

Bleeding is a sign of gum disease

First and foremost, if your gums bleed consistently after you brush or floss, you could have the gum disease gingivitis.
Gingivitis is an inflammation in the gum line that can lead to serious problems like tooth loss if left untreated. It can be painless, so bleeding gums are a symptom that could raise the alarm.
Look for swollen, reddened areas in your gums, receding tissue, loose teeth or even visible pus.
Above all though, if your teeth and gums bleed after brushing, it pays to have them checked by your dentist. Gum disease is a serious issue and needs immediate treatment.

Diet and medicines can cause bleeding too

On a less serious note, the foods we eat and even the medicines we take can cause some bleeding of the teeth and gums during brushing.
Food that’s high in sugar or simple carbohydrates can strip enamel from teeth and leave them vulnerable to plaque and infections, causing bleeding during brushing. Bleeding gums could be a sign that you need to eat a more balanced diet.
Also, medicines can cause bleeding as a side effect of their treatment. For example, aspirin thins the blood and could cause bleeding. Check with your doctor about the side effects of prescription medicines and check the labels of over the counter drugs.

Check your tools

Finally, your teeth and gums may be bleeding after you brush because you’re simply pressing too hard or using the wrong tools and techniques.
Manual and electric toothbrushes come in a variety of degrees of firmness, from very soft to very hard. If you’re using hard bristles, you may be aggravating your teeth and gums, so it could help to switch to a softer grade.
Dental floss is a great way of removing plaque and food build-up from between your teeth, but if you press or pull too hard you can damage your gums and cause bleeding. So review your technique.

Also, any change in your dental routine could cause bleeding. For example, you may have changed from a manual to an electric toothbrush and not have quite mastered the different way it needs to be used, causing irritation and then bleeding.

The last word on bleeding gums

If your gums are bleeding consistently when you brush your teeth, it is a sign that there’s something wrong. Because of the risk of gum disease, it’s a good idea to consult your dentist and discuss what’s happening. A regular visit to the dentist should be a part of your oral hygiene routine and can help nail down the cause of the problem and find a lasting solution. View all our Dental Services and send us an appointment request via our contact form.