It is not uncommon to hear patients say that their gums bleed when they brush or floss. This can be alarming, especially if you haven’t experienced any direct trauma to your gums. While bleeding gums isn’t always a dental emergency, it does need to be investigated and addressed. Finding “pink in the sink” after daily dental hygiene routine can be a warning sign that your gums need better care. In fact, bleeding gums are a first warning sing of gum disease or gingivitis.
Reasons You See “Pink in the Sink”
Here are three reasons that you may see some blood when you brush your teeth:
- Poor diet and/or poor oral hygiene – If you eat high sugared foods and drinks, the damage goes beyond your teeth. Your gums can also be laden with hardened plague that is caused by lingering bacteria and sugars, causing them to become red, inflamed and sensitive to bleeding. Plaque needs to be removed each day from your teeth and gums, which means both flossing and brushing.
- Poor brushing and flossing habits – If you don’t brush and floss on a daily basis, the bacteria and plaque can accumulate inside your mouth and cause irritation within your gums. This is also true if you don’t clean well enough, such as using your brush or floss to get into small crevices and hard to reach areas within your smile.
- Brushing too hard- It is possible that your gums are actually healthy, but you are just giving a little too much force to your brushing methods. If you brush too o aggressively, the delicate gum tissues can react with bleeding. Instead, switch to a soft-bristled brush and use gentle strokes to clean your teeth.
- Hormones – According to WebMD, the surge in production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that occurs during puberty (and pregnancy) can increase the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to irritants in plaque, which ultimately makes them more sensitive and likely to bleed during brushing and flossing.
When Bleeding Gums Indicate Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. When plaque is not removed by regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by our dental professionals at Sunrise Dental & Implant Center. Tartar buildup can cause the gums to become inflamed and irritated, leading to the first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, and it is characterized by red, swollen, and tender gums that may bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. This bleeding occurs because the inflamed gums are more fragile and sensitive than healthy gums, and they are more likely to bleed with even minor trauma.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. In periodontitis, the inflammation and infection can spread to the deeper tissues and bone that support the teeth, causing them to become loose and even fall out.
Consult a Fairfield Dentist
At Sunrise Dental & Implant Center, we work hard to help you avoid bleeding gums. However, if you are already suffering from the signs of early gum disease, we can treat it. Our dentists offer the most advanced treatments for gum disease, and we want to know as soon as possible if you are experiencing any abnormal symptoms within your mouth. If you have flossed for the first time in months and see some blood, don’t shy away from the task. Continue to floss on a daily basis to restore optimal health to your gums.
Call our Fairfield dental team today to learn more about bleeding gum treatment near you.