Why Are My Gums Bleeding When I Brush?

Have you been experiencing your gums bleeding and getting paranoid about what’s causing them to bleed? You might be happy to know that a lot of people experience this quite often. The good news is, it’s not always some major cause. In fact, sometimes it can be something as simple as brushing your teeth too hard.

However, that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore bleeding gums as it can also be an indicator of something more serious. So, let’s talk about why you might be experiencing this and when you need to worry about it.

Your gums bleeding might be due to a variety of reasons. The most common is gum disease also known as gingivitis. This is a bacterial infection that occurs in the gums that can damage your gum tissue and bone that supports your teeth.

However, although gingivitis, or the words gum disease sounds very gloomy, it’s actually a very reversible condition it just takes action on your part.

Other things can also cause your gums to bleed such as:

  • Brushing Teeth Too Hard: Brushing your teeth with too much force can irritate your gums which causes bleeding.
  • Flossing Too Hard: Flossing your teeth too hard can also cause gums to bleedFlossing too hard can also irritate your gums and cause them to bleed.
  • Eating hard foods: Eating eating hard or extra crunchy foods can tear your gums but also can even ship a tooth as well as cause gums to bleed.
  • Dental procedures: Some dental procedures will cause some incidental bleeding such as a debridement, route planning, or even a light cleaning.

If you’re having trouble with your gums bleeding, it’s recommended you come in and see Dr. Vela. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and treat the problem appropriately.

Your Gums Bleeding Could Also Be The Result Of…

Now, while those are some more common causes of your gums bleeding, they’re not the only ones. In fact outside of any physical activities that cause bleeding, plaque buildup is the number one cause. Plaque is a film of bacteria that’s pretty sticky and it forms on your teeth and your gums. Normally this is kept under control by brushing and flossing twice daily. However, if it’s not taken care of immediately it actually hardens and turns into something called tartar.

Tartar is far more difficult to remove and it can irritate your gums causing inflammation and can be the very reason behind the issue.

Other possible causes of gum bleeding include:

  • Gingivitis: This is just another name for the early stages of gum disease your gums will get red and develop inflammation because of the plaque buildup. Gingivitis as we discussed, can be reversed by practicing good oral hygiene.
  • Periodontitis: Now, if you thought gingivitis was bad this condition is far more serious it’s basically the next level of untreated gingivitis. In this stage, your gums start to deteriorate away from the teeth which creates little gaps that fill with pus and bacteria. Hope you’re not eating while reading this. Then the bones and connective tissue that are there for tooth support also get damaged. In fact, periodontitis can actually lead to tooth loss if it’s neglected.
  • Pregnancy: Not many people think about pregnancy affecting the gums or hygiene but it absolutely can. Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can make your gums more sensitive and likely to bleed. This is why during pregnancy practicing good oral hygiene is even more important than ever.
  • Medications: Some medications can cause bleeding gums such as blood thinners. So always make sure you tell Dr. Vela about any prescription meds you’re taking.
  • Oral piercings: Yeah, we know you think they may look cool but did you know that oral piercings can actually irritate your gums and cause them to bleed?

Self-Inflicted Root Causes

Now while you can’t help some causes of your gums bleeding, such as genetic conditions, or hormone levels when you’re pregnant, and other causes—some, you bring on yourself.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Not having a healthy dental hygiene routine is often the biggest culprit of self-inflicted gum bleeding. There are a lot of things that you can do wrong that will contribute to poor dental hygiene, but the one we see the most often is not brushing your teeth correctly. If you just go in there and kind of go through the motions and brush really quick you’re not giving time for plaque and bacteria to be removed.

You should try to focus on 4 quadrants in your mouth: upper left arch, upper right arch, bottom left arch, and bottom right arch. You should be spending at least 30 seconds brushing the front surface of each quadrant and the rear surface. Uniformly do this with light pressure and you can greatly mitigate your chances of gum disease. Not to mention, you’ll have fresh breath, a nice bright smile, and a boost of self-confidence.

Make sure you are using a soft or medium-bristled toothbrush at best. If the bristles are too hard you can actually damage your teeth. Pick something along the lines that’s down the middle and you can’t go wrong.

If you’re still not sure how to brush the right way you can ask your dentist or actually the hygienist for a visual demonstration. This will allow you to clearly see how to brush your teeth effectively and lower your risk for issues.

Poor Diet and Nutrition

Eating a bad diet and not getting the proper nutrition can also bring the onset of gum disease and bleeding gums. Lacking the proper nutrients you need can cause a deficiency in your gums which allows them to easily become inflamed and bleed. A good example of a bad diet is one that is high in sugar and simple carbohydrates. A diet like that can actually contribute to type 2 diabetes which makes it hard for your body to heal. That can be very detrimental to your oral health as well.

Smoking and Tobacco Use

This one should go without saying, but any kind of tobacco use including smoking causes nothing but trouble for your oral health. You’re literally inhaling dangerous chemicals that can cause damage to your gums and make you more vulnerable to infection. If you smoke or chew tobacco you’re far more likely to have gum disease than someone who doesn’t. Ceasing smoking or using tobacco products can actually reduce your risk of gum disease and other, serious health problems.

Having Trouble With Your Gums Bleeding? Let’s Check It Out.

If you’re dealing with bleeding gums, don’t brush it aside and put off a dental visit with Dr. Vela. In fact, the first thing you should do with the sign of bleeding gums is make an appointment to come see us. We may find out you just need a light cleaning or that you’re brushing too hard. But also, we might find something more serious that if you had waited to get it looked at could be serious.

So don’t assume what the root cause of your bleeding gums is—contact us and make an appointment!

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