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Why do my gums bleed?

Don’t worry you’re not alone!!  Gum disease is a very common condition affecting most adults in the UK, at some time in their life.

Healthy gums should be flesh pink in colour and should not look inflamed (fiery red and swollen) or bleed when you brush your teeth or floss.

Gum disease is caused by the inadequate removal of plaque. Plaque is a yellow sticky substance containing bacteria which attacks the gums around the teeth, causing inflammation and irritation.

Factors that increase your chance of developing gum disease are

  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol
  • a high sugar/unhealthy diet
  • infrequent visits to the Dentist
  • an inadequate oral hygiene routine, such as brushing your teeth less than twice a day.

There are other, less frequent causes of bleeding gums, generally related to other health considerations such as during pregnancy; as a result of vitamin deficiencies or as a side effect of some medications.

Here’s what you can do if you do notice some bleeding.

  1. Brush thoroughly twice a day– Remember to brush twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day as well.
  2. Change your toothbrush – hard bristled toothbrushes may be too harsh on your gums. We recommend using an electric toothbrush.
  3. Check your technique– even with the right tools, it may be your brushing technique is too abrasive or flossing too aggressive.
  4. Make an appointment to see your dentist for an examination and professional advice. You may need to visit your dentist more frequently if you’ve had problems with gum disease in the past.
  5. Visit the Hygienist who will be able to give your teeth a thorough clean and remove any hardened plaque (tartar). They’ll also be able to show you how to clean your teeth effectively to help prevent plaque building up in the future.
  6. Attend regular dental check-ups so any problems with your teeth and gums can be detected and treated early.