Did you notice that your gums have started to bleed when you brush or floss? If it is the first time that it has happened to you then you will probably be worried about what it means – and the truth is that there could be several causes. Rather than worry too much about it (at least at first), it would be best to start to attempt to identify why your gums are bleeding, and then figure out how to proceed.
New Toothbrush or Flossing Technique
If you recently switched to a new toothbrush or are trying a new flossing technique – that could be what is causing your gums to bleed. While it may seem alarming, it is may very well just some superficial damage to your gums that should clear up within a few days.
Assuming the new toothbrush you’re using has harder bristles than the old one then that might be hurting your gums. If that is the case then it would be advisable to switch back to the previous bristle strength rather than continuing to use a harder brush.
On the other hand if you’re trying a new flossing technique (or just haven’t flossed in a few days) then your flossing may have dislodged some of the plaque that has built up and caused your gums to become tender. It isn’t anything too worrisome however, and your gums should be back to normal soon enough.
Risk of Gingivitis
As much as gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, the good news is that it is also the stage where the damage is reversible. Essentially plaque may have built up on your teeth near the gums and started to infect them – making them sore, swollen, and tender.
Because of that when you do clean your teeth the area may start to bleed – but that is normal. By ensuring that you brush and floss your teeth regularly, you can clear all the plaque that has built up and make sure that the disease doesn’t progress any further or result in any serious and permanent damage to your teeth.
Assuming the bleeding stops after a few days then just make a note of the problem and how long it lasted and mention it to your dentist in your next regular dental checkup. If you’re in the area, a reputable dentist would be ideal to get any advice on how to deal with your bleeding gums and other oral health issues.
On the other hand if your gums continue to bleed even after several days have passed then you should make an appointment with your dentist and get it checked out immediately. It may be a more serious gum infection at work and by catching it early you can prevent any permanent damage. Alternatively it may just mean that your brushing and flossing isn’t thorough enough – and in either case your dentist will be able to pinpoint what’s wrong and advise you on how to proceed.