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Bleeding Gums: Causes That Go Beyond Hard Brushing

Bleeding gums treatment Grand Rapids MI dentists

Bleeding gums treatment Grand Rapids MI dentists

Gum health can often go overlooked compared to teeth. For example, many patients may focus on the color of their teeth or if there’s any pain there while certain symptoms of gums in jeopardy, such as when they’re bleeding, get shrugged off. Our Grand Rapids, MI, dentists are here to encourage everyone to make sure all aspects of your smile are getting cleaned and to take note of any warning signs.

Here are 4 causes of bleeding gums other than improper tooth brushing and how our dentists can help restore your smile.

Your Gums Might Be Bleeding Because Of:

1. Gingivitis or Advanced Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

It’s common to experience bleeding gums when the earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, has begun to set in. That’s because of the harmful plaque that’s built up above and below the gum line. When plaque isn’t cleared away, bacteria grows and attacks the gum tissue, increasing its sensitivity.

Luckily, gingivitis is reversible with regular tooth brushing, flossing, and teeth cleanings every 6 months. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is long-term, irreversible, and what gingivitis can turn into if left untreated.

In addition to cleanings, our dentists can alleviate your bleeding gums and advanced periodontal disease with procedures like scaling and root planing. Periodontal Treatments of this nature are designed to deep clean and manage the chronic condition.

2. A New Flossing Routine

If you haven’t always been the best about flossing and you suddenly start practicing the habit every day, it’s not out of the question that it could result in gums that are bleeding. Our dentists applaud your new routine but urge all patients to be gentle when they floss. It’s not a race and being too rough, much like with brushing, can cause more harm than good.

Here’s how you want to go about flossing:

  • Tear off about 18-24 inches of floss.
  • Wrap most of the floss around both of your middle fingers, leaving about 1-2 inches for use on your teeth.
  • Use your thumbs and index fingers to tightly hold the floss and place it between two teeth.
  • Carefully and gently move the floss up and down to rub it against both sides of each tooth. Try not to glide the floss into your gums as this can cause scratching and bruising.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape once it reaches your gums so it hugs the base of your tooth. By doing this, you’re allowing the floss to enter the space between your gums and tooth.
  • Repeat the above steps until you’ve finished flossing between every tooth (even behind your back molars!) and use a clean section of floss as you go.

3. Dentures In Need of a Fit Check

Traditional dentures have a tendency to slip or shift occasionally which while annoying, isn’t abnormal. However, when your dentures don’t fit well at all, you may notice some unwanted gum irritation and bleeding.

Oftentimes, bleeding gums occur when dentures are fitted too tightly. If you’re tired of dealing with dentures and fit problems, ask our dentists about the possibility of dental implants. These titanium posts are designed to act as artificial tooth roots that, with a crown on top, look and function like real teeth. We can also always adjust your dentures as necessary so they’re more comfortable and less harsh on your gums.

4. Certain Health Conditions or Hormonal Changes

For some women, pregnancy can mean that gums become swollen and bleed. This is due to changes in hormones that affect how the body responds to the bacteria that causes gum disease. Try taking extra care of your teeth during this time with a fluoride toothpaste and floss.

Other health conditions like blood clotting disorders or leukemia can also translate into bleeding gums. The best thing you can do if you have one of these conditions is to maintain a strict oral hygiene routine, receive professional cleanings, and converse with your primary doctor.

Don’t Hide Bleeding Gums, Seek Help Now

It can feel a little embarrassing or like admitting defeat by telling our dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, about your bleeding gums, but there’s no need to be ashamed. By letting us know, we can then help you and possibly get in front of any issue worsening. Call Contemporary Family Dental today at (616) 209-3969 to schedule an appointment.