Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

Bleeding gums treatment Grand Rapids MI dentist

Healthy gums should rarely bleed. Sure, they might be a little more tender when flossing some days but it shouldn’t be a constant occurrence. If your gums are bleeding and generally feel irritated, our Grand Rapids dentist can help.

Here are 4 reasons why your gums may be bleeding and what your next steps should be in terms of treatment.

Your Gum Irritation May Be Caused By:

1. Early Gingivitis or Advanced 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 toothbrushing, 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, Dr. Nichols and his team can alleviate your bleeding gums and advanced periodontal disease with procedures like scaling and root planing. Gum disease treatments of this nature are designed to deep clean and manage the chronic condition. 

2. Tooth Brushing That’s Too Fast or Too Hard

When brushing your teeth, try not to brush too quickly. Setting out to clean teeth in record time will not accomplish what you think it will. Instead, you’ll be at risk for gum recession and bleeding. 

Pro-tip: Slow down, take your time, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Don’t forget to also brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss them daily. It’s not critical that you brush after every meal or snack. What is beneficial is cleaning your teeth when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed. That way you’re clearing off plaque that’s accumulated as you sleep as well as throughout the day.

3. Dentures That Need Adjusting

Even the best dentures have a tendency to slip or shift occasionally which while annoying, isn’t abnormal. However, when your dentures don’t fit well, 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 entirely, ask Dr. Nichols 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.

4. Recent Hormonal Changes or Other Medical Conditions

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 general doctor. 

Give Our Office a Call

Irritated or bleeding gums can be uncomfortable and annoying to deal with. Fortunately, our dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, is equipped with the experience and tools to restore your gum health. Call Nichols Family Dentistry today at (616) 333-8496 to schedule an appointment.

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