FlossingSome people may think it is quite normal that their gums bleed a little after a good brushing or flossing. After all, that toothbrush is rough on the gums, right? Some people only experience the bleeding when they floss, and they chalk it up to the floss catching on the gums between the teeth or on small food particles being stuck under the gums. Too many consider this type of bleeding as normal. However, it absolutely is not. In fact, it could be an indicator that something is very wrong.

Periodontal Disease or Gingivitis

Sometimes, bleeding gums from brushing or flossing could be an indicator of gingivitis or periodontal disease. People often think that these two things are the same, but they are not.

Here are some important things to know:

  • Gingivitis is inflammation that is caused by a buildup of a soft substance called plaque.
  • Symptoms of gingivitis include swollen and red gums or gums that bleed during regular brushing or flossing.
  • Periodontal disease is a progression of gingivitis to the point that pockets of infection actually form under the gum line.
  • Symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen gums, red gums, severe bleeding during brushing, teeth that feel loose, pain during chewing, and a receding gum line.

Gingivitis can be easily rectified by regular visits to the dentist for teeth cleaning and through proper teeth care at home. Periodontitis usually involves more serious treatments, such as surgery, gum grafts and more.

Get Your Teeth Cleaned

If you notice that your gums bleed when you brush and floss, you do need to go to the dentist to ensure that you do not have periodontal disease or gingivitis. You can stave off the problem from coming back by getting your teeth cleaned regularly. It is recommended that you get a professional cleaning twice a year.

Know Your Medical History

There are times when bleeding gums could be a symptom of something much more serious. These conditions are called systemic diseases and they include diabetes, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and thyroiditis. You need to be aware of your medical history to rule out any chances that these conditions could be causing the bleeding.

Bleeding gums are not normal. If you have this problem when you brush or floss, then you definitely need to make an appointment with the dentist. The problem could be a simple case of gingivitis, but you need to take care of the problem before it progresses to something worse.