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Why Do My Gums Bleed

If you've been wondering, "Why do my gums bleed," then you've come to the right place. Today, we're talking about why your gums bleed when you brush or floss and how to prevent it.

Why do my gums bleed? It's a question that we have to field in our office more often than we'd like. Bleeding gums are a sign that something isn't right with your mouth. When your gums bleed, it's a sign of inflammation, and inflammation that severe is never a good thing. As "the best family dentist practice in Staten Island"- and we think we are - it's important to us that we make sure our patients know exactly what causes bleeding gums so they can help prevent it.

Why Do My Gums Bleed

As we just said, bleeding gums are caused by inflammation - too much inflammation. As we talked about in our previous post about gingivitis vs periodontitis, there are levels of gum inflammation. Gingivitis is mild inflammation, which we all have to some degree. Inflammation that can lead to oral disease is periodontitis, and that's when things get dicey.

When the gums become extremely inflamed the blood vessels close to the surface of the gums can become damaged and bleed. This is why it's a big red flag regarding your oral health if you see bleeding when you brush or floss.

What Causes Bleeding Gums

Although the main cause of bleeding gums tends to be gum disease, there are other causes, as well. It's important to understand these causes so you can help us determine what might be the underlying cause of your bleeding gums if you have them.

  • Periodontitis: Inflammation due to gum disease is the most common cause of bleeding gums.
  • Brushing Too Hard: Brushing too hard can abrade and irritate the gums, causing bleeding.
  • Improperly Fitting Dentures: Dentures that fit poorly can scratch the gums which can cause bleeding and create sores over time.
  • Pregnancy: Due to hormonal changes, around half of all pregnant women experience red, swollen, tender gums that can bleed during brushing or flossing.
  • Chronic Health Problems: Chronic illnesses like liver disease, blood clotting disorders, anemia, and leukemia can cause bleeding gums.
  • Blood Thinners: Blood thinners not only protect patients from blood clots, they also make it easier for bleeding to occur when brushing or flossing.
  • Tobacco: Tobacco can irritate the gums, causing inflammation and leading to bleeding gums.

How to Prevent Bleeding Gums

The first line of defense to prevent periodontitis, the root cause of bleeding gums in most cases, is to practice proper oral health care.

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily and be sure to use an alcohol-free mouthwash each time.
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush and never bear down while brushing.
  • Stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco.

Now You know

And as GI Joe said, knowing is half the battle. If you've been looking at your sink after you brush and asking, "Why do my gums bleed," then we hope this entry will help you get to the cause of the problem. One of the best ways to figure out what's causing your bleeding is to schedule an appointment with us. In addition to being the best implant dentist in Staten Island, we're also the best family dentist practice in Staten Island, and we'd love to help you.