Why Do Gums Bleed?

Mouth with bleeding gums on a dark background. Close up.

You may have noticed some blood when spitting after brushing your teeth or when you floss. “I don’t floss anymore because flossing makes my gum bleed”. This is a comment we often hear but also our chance to help educate our patients on why gums bleed.

Often times, gums bleed because there is plaque accumulation around the gum causing it to become irritated and inflamed.  Plaque, which is full of bacteria, can calcify into tartar which in turn makes it even harder to remove.  It only takes 24-36 hours for plaque to harden into tartar and can then only be removed by professional cleaning. Therefore, it is important to be consistent with your oral care routine. We encourage our patients to take care of their gums before it can progress to a more advanced form of gum disease.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day and always before you go to bed.  Floss at least once a day – bleeding usually stops after a few days of consistent flossing. If bleeding does not stop, make a appointment with your dentist and the dentist can determine if you have a more serious condition.

Bleeding gums can also be the result of abrasive tools, the user,  diet, and/or medication.

It’s best to see your dentist on a regular basis (every 6 months) to help keep your oral health in the best shape!

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