My gums bleed when I brush: Should I be concerned?

If you notice that your gums bleed while you are brushing your teeth, it may be a signal that you have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease.

Gingivitis develops when the gum tissues have inflammation caused by the bacteria contained in plaque. When people do not follow the brushing and flossing regimens recommended by their dentists and plaque collects along the gum line, the bacteria found in that plaque begin to attack the gums.

Although gindentists Dallas countygivitis is the earliest sign of problems with the gums, the condition does not always progress to full-blown periodontal disease. In fact, gingivitis is highly treatable. In most cases, dentists in Dallas County can remedy gingivitis with a thorough professional cleaning.

Regularly scheduled appointments with the dentist help to protect the gums from gingivitis flare-ups. Semiannual cleanings cut down on the amount of plaque (and bacteria) in the mouth, reducing the likelihood of gum inflammation.

Dentists also encourage patients to establish good oral hygiene habits at home to prevent gingivitis from developing. To minimize the risk of gingivitis, patients should brush twice each day and floss at least daily. It’s also a good idea to rinse the mouth with water after eating, as any remaining food particles can stick to the teeth and provide a source of nourishment for oral bacteria.

If your bleeding gums are accompanied by other symptoms, such as swelling, loose teeth or pockets in the gums, your periodontal disease is likely progressing. Dentists can treat more advanced forms of periodontal disease, but the interventions are more complex and time-consuming. Periodontal surgery may be required to clear pockets of bacteria, for example.

Although gingivitis is the most common cause of bleeding gums, other conditions may lead to this symptom. For example, hormonal changes can lead to bleeding gums in pregnant women. Vitamin deficiencies or infection also may be responsible. In rare cases, bleeding gums may indicate a very serious condition, such as leukemia.

If you notice bleeding gums when you brush, schedule a visit with one of our experienced Dallas County dentists to be evaluated for gingivitis or other causes of bleeding gums.