You may think bleeding gums are a sign that you are not brushing correctly. However, it is not normal for gums to bleed and you should take notice whenever your gums bleed during brushing.
Annapolis area dentist Dr. Scott Finlay offers a range of treatment options for patients in any stage of gum disease. Prevention of gum disease is our goal, but for those who have signs or symptoms of gum disease, we may recommend prescription mouth rinses, deep cleaning procedures or in extreme cases, periodontal surgery.
Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease
A common cause of bleeding gums is gum disease. Gum disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. Plaque is the leading cause for gum disease, though other factors such as family history, hormonal changes and illness may contribute to the condition.
Learn more about the progression of Gum Disease
Avoid Bleeding Gums When You Brush or Floss
When you brush, you should use a gentle, circular motion to massage and clean the teeth and gums. While many people use a back-and-forth motion, this motion can actually irritate and damage your gums, making them sore and more likely to bleed or recede.
You should also be gentle when you floss to avoid bleeding gums. Do not force the floss between your teeth, instead, carefully slide it up and down, following the curve of each tooth.
Bleeding Gums and Pregnancy
Bleeding gums during pregnancy is very common because of hormonal changes taking place in the body. This can increase the susceptibility for the gums to be sore and inflamed, which in turn makes it difficult to maintain adequate hygiene. Staying ahead of gum problems is an essential component of prenatal care. Pregnant women should continue to brush and floss, and certainly continue their professional dental check ups to diagnose and manage issues before they develop.
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
Treatment for bleeding gums should always be handled by a dentist. Never attempt to self treat bleeding gums or use over the counter medications without the advisement of a dental professional. Depending on your condition, there are a number of treatment options for bleeding gums.
- Routine Dental Cleaning – The best way to treat bleeding gums and prevent gum disease is with regular visits to the dentist for professional teeth cleaning and examination. Our dental cleanings are performed by a dental hygienist who will gently and skillfully remove plaque and tartar from between the teeth and around the gum line.
- Antibacterial Mouth Rinse – In some cases, Dr. Finlay may recommend an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth and control infection.
- Scaling and Root Planing – These are deep cleaning procedures to remove plaque and tartar from deep pockets in the gum and smooth the surface of tooth roots.
- Periodontal Therapy – Periodontal therapy may include scaling and root planing as well as other procedures to remove infected tissue and bring the gums back to health. Dr. Finlay also uses laser dentistry to treat gingivitis and gum disease.
Healthy Gums, Healthy Mouth
If you have bleeding gums, contact Scott Finlay, DDS & Associates, PA for a consultation and periodontal screening.
Call our Annapolis, MD dentist office at 443–276–4094 or request an appointment online.