How To Prevent Bleeding Gums
- Posted on: Aug 25 2014
Many people have had the experience of brushing too hard or flossing too vigorously, and seeing a trail of blood flowing down the sink drain. Bleeding gums are caused by a variety of reasons, many of which are preventable. However, long-term or excessive bleeding of the gums may be an indicator of a more serious problem, such as gum disease.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a general term used to describe a range of conditions. The first stage, gingivitis, involves inflammation of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque. This condition is both preventable and reversible, with proper care.
The second stage is known as periodontitis. This is a more advanced disease of the gums and jawbone, caused by plaque that hardens over time into tartar. Periodontitis causes gums to bleed excessively and often results in tooth loss.
Sticking to a strict dental hygiene regimen is your best bet at preventing gum disease. Here are some of the top ways to prevent bleeding gums:
- Brush and floss daily. To remove food, bacteria and plaque from teeth, you should brush at least twice a day, for a minimum of two minutes each time, and floss daily. Some individuals are more prone to plaque buildup and periodontal disease than others, and therefore have to work harder to maintain a healthy mouth. If you’re one of those people, it may be necessary to brush and floss several times per day, or after each meal. Your dentist can help you establish a hygiene routine that will work best for you.
- Rinse after brushing. To remove food particles loosened by brushing, rinse your mouth with water after you brush. If your gums already bleed after brushing, or if you have already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, use an antimicrobial rinse to help further fight bacteria.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Even the most dedicated brushers and flossers will develop plaque over time, so it is crucial to get professional cleanings regularly. Most dental professionals recommend a cleaning every six months, however your dentist will advise you on how often you should come in based on your individual needs. An annual checkup is also important, as it allows your dentist to examine your mouth and screen for any irregularities or signs of periodontal disease.
- Avoid processed and sugar-filled foods and drinks. Not only does sugar cause cavities — it increases your chance for developing other teeth and gum problems. Cutting back on sweet treats and sugary drinks (including the sugar added to coffee and tea) will help prevent problems from developing.
- If you wear dentures, make sure they fit properly. Poor-fitting or abrasive dentures can irritate gums, causing them to bleed and become painful. Over time, sore gums can become infected. If you dentures feel uncomfortable in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them examined.
- Don’t smoke. Or at the very least, try to cut back on smoking. Smokers are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, and are therefore more susceptible to developing gum disease. Additionally, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, making it more difficult for gums to heal.
Dentistry in New York
If you have any questions regarding gum disease, contact Concerned Dental Care today to schedule an appointment. We have nine locations and twelve affiliate locations throughout the New York metropolitan area including the Bronx, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Midtown Manhattan, Yonkers, Farmingville, Hauppauge, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma. We look forward to serving you!
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