Drs. Gregory Bennet, Kelly Arnold, and Andrew Timmerman are dentists in Arvada, Colorado who provide general dentistry services to patients in and around the community. They see patients with unique dental problems every day, but a common issue that often goes overlooked is that of bleeding gums. We see patients who ask what to do if their gums are bleeding when they brush and floss their teeth. There may be several different reasons why this is happening. First, let’s go through some of the more common causes of bleeding gums and what can be done to resolve the issue:

Not flossing as directed.

When you floss your teeth regularly, it helps in toughening up the gum tissues. If you haven’t been flossing and start doing so, the gums may bleed and appear swollen for an hour or two after. This is perfectly normal but is a good indication that you need to floss more often. Many patients find it easy to floss before bed to remove bacteria and food debris from between the teeth at the end of the day. It takes just a few minutes a day to complete!

Using the wrong toothbrush.

Toothbrushes with harder or even medium bristles may find that brushing leaves their gums bleeding. This is because the best toothbrush for you may be a soft-bristled brush. Also, make sure you change out your brush regularly so that it works properly and doesn’t cause any extra bleeding over time.

Brushing too aggressively.

Brushing harder doesn’t always mean brushing better. It is important that you use firm pressure to brush your teeth, but brushing too aggressively can result in problems such as bleeding gums. Use the right amount of pressure to brush the teeth and gums. If you are unsure of how much pressure to apply, ask the dental hygienists at Arvada Dental Center during your next cleaning.

Poorly fitted dentures.

Full dentures replace an entire arch of teeth and are made of a soft acrylic. If they are not stored properly or taken care of as directed, they can change in shape. The gums may also change with time, causing dentures to fit improperly in the mouth. This can cause rubbing and irritation that leads to sores and bleeding gums. It is vital that your dentures fit properly for the best fit and function, so visit your dentist if adjustments in your appliance need to be made. This applies to partial dentures, too!

Changes in hormones.

Fluctuations in hormones during certain times in a patient’s life, such as pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, can cause red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Seeking the assistance of a dental team to manage early signs of gingivitis can help maintain one’s oral health during this time and avoid the development of late-stage periodontitis.

Prescription medications.

There are certain prescription medications for certain medical concerns that can contribute to bleeding gums. This includes blood thinners, which are commonly the cause of irritation and bleeding in patients who might otherwise be taking good care of their smiles. Some of these medications cannot be safely stopped, so it is wise to talk to your dentist about the medications you are regularly taking and whether or not they are the source of the problem.

Can healthy gums bleed?

Yes. In situations such as hormone fluctuations or certain medications, otherwise healthy gums may bleed. It is still a good idea to discuss the issue with your dentist to ensure you are doing all possible to lessen the problem.

Learn more about ways to care for your smile

If you are an Arvada, CO resident and are ready to speak with a quality dental team about your oral health needs, contact Drs. Gregory Bennett, Kelly Arnold, and Andrew Timmerman about your specific concerns. Call the office at (303) 421-7611 to schedule a consultation at 5220 Wadsworth Bypass, Unit C.