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My gums bleed when I brush: Should I be concerned?
October 7, 2011

There are several reasons why one might experience bleeding gums.  Brushing too hard or using a stiff tooth brush are two … however, if your gums bleed for any other reason, it is time for a visit to your dentist serving Oak Brook for a professional exam.

Most dentists recommend a soft bristle tooth brush and can demonstrate for you the best way to brush your teeth.  Some people believe they need to brush hard and really scrub their teeth to make sure they are removing plaque.  Unfortunately, improper brushing can lead to premature breakdown of the tooth enamel, which protects teeth from decay.  In addition, receding gum tissue can result from over aggressive brushing.

If your gums bleed after using a soft tooth brush, it is very possible you are experiencing the onset of gingivitis.  Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue, and left unchecked may lead to a more serious periodontal condition.  The onset of gingivitis is usually due to a build-up of plaque that develops at the gum line.

Bleeding gum tissue is not normal.  A person who has healthy teeth and gums should not experience bleeding (although using floss too vigorously can cause gum tissue to bleed – your dental provider can teach you the proper technique for using dental floss).

Bleeding gums accompanied with other symptoms such as bad breath, swollen gums, tooth ache or infection is definitely a sign that you are in need of professional care.  Only your dentist or hygienist can diagnose gingivitis, or the more serious periodontal disease.  Ignoring these symptoms can result in extensive dental treatment, even tooth loss.

Healthy gum tissue is the basis for excellent dental health.  If your dental health is compromised, chances are that your overall health may suffer as well.  It is believed that respiratory and heart ailments, along with other serious diseases, can be linked to dental disease.  So if you are experiencing bleeding gum tissue it would serve you well to see your dentist to resolve the problem.

Another consideration is if your gums bleed when you brush, you are creating an opening for bacteria to invade your gum tissue.  And if bacteria enter your body, you are opening the door to a potential for both dental and physical ailments.

Brushing twice daily with a fluoridated tooth paste or gel and using dental floss daily are good first steps to controlling problems with gum tissue.  In addition to excellent home care, visiting our experienced dental team at Hinsdale Dentistry twice per year for professional cleaning and dental exams should keep both you and your gums in the pink.

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