Have you recently begun seeing pink in your sink or perhaps on your toothbrush? If so, it could signify that your gums are in trouble and need your help. Several factors can cause your gums to bleed; sometimes, the problem is easy to fix. Other times, it is best to come and see us for professional dental care, and the sooner you act, the sooner we can help restore your gums to the pink of health. Some of the reasons why your gums may start bleeding are outlined below.
Brushing Too Hard
Contrary to what you might think, you do not need to brush your teeth very hard to get them thoroughly clean and brushing too hard can damage your gums, causing tooth sensitivity and gum recession. Also, your choice of toothbrush makes a difference, as you need a soft-bristled brush to clean your teeth safely. A hard-bristled toothbrush can be tough on gums and your teeth, which could be why your gums have started to bleed.
Certain medications, especially blood thinners, can cause gum bleeding. Antidepressants are another culprit. If your gums have begun to bleed because of medications, it’s worth talking to your GP to see if they can prescribe anything different. Otherwise, we can help you with a preventive dental care routine designed to keep your gums as healthy as possible.
Failing to Floss Frequently
If you are guilty of only flossing when you come to see us or have something stuck between your teeth, your gums are more likely to become infected and inflamed. Without daily flossing, bacteria and food debris remain trapped between your teeth, and there is a good chance you will develop the first signs of gum disease, called gingivitis, and the earliest sign is noticing your gums have started to bleed.
Having your teeth cleaned professionally will eliminate plaque and tartar buildup (hardened plaque), getting rid of the bacteria that have caused the infection and inflammation. You will also need to improve your oral care routine, ensuring you brush at least twice a day and floss daily, even if it makes your gums bleed slightly. As your gums get healthier and stronger, they will bleed less frequently.
Underlying Health Problems
Sometimes bleeding gums may be due to another health problem, such as a blood disorder or an infection, or it can be due to hormonal changes. During puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, hormonal changes increase the sensitivity of your gums to dental plaque bacteria, so they are more likely to become red and inflamed and to bleed when brushed.
When you visit our practice, we can discuss why your gums may be bleeding and devise a suitable treatment plan. If we think it may be due to an underlying health problem, we will suggest you visit your GP. Otherwise, we can talk to you about how to care for your gums properly, helping them remain strong and healthy, so you no longer see pink in your sink.