Why are your gums bleeding?
The appearance of blood on your toothbrush bristles, or in your sink after a thorough cleaning, is not something that you should ignore. According to Dr. Peter Doig, a Dauphin, Manitoba-based dentist and president of the Canadian Dental Association, occasional oral bleeding can occur if coarse foods scratch your gums, but if blood regularly shows up on your toothbrush or dental floss, a more serious situation may be to blame. Here are six reasons behind bleeding gums and how you can put a stop to it.
You have gingivitis
When plaque and its cavity-causing bacteria build up on your teeth, your gums (the gingiva) can become inflamed. The result is gingivitis. Painless and virtually symptom free, gingivitis is easily missed unless you notice bleeding gums when you brush your teeth or floss. “Gingivitis is an ignored disease because it’s not painful. It’s out of sight, out of mind,” says Doig.
But left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, a critical oral condition characterized by the destruction of gum tissue and tooth loss. Luckily, gingivitis can be reversed and completely avoided. “Gingivitis is virtually 100 percent preventable,” says Doig. Meticulous oral hygiene—brushing and flossing—to remove plaque from the teeth, in addition to regular visits to your dentist, can keep bleeding gums and gingivitis at bay.