Gum bleeding can be annoying, and it's important to discover why it may be happening. Our orthodontists at Village Orthodontics discuss the top 8 reasons why your gums might bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.
Reasons for Gum Bleeding
Our orthodontists sometimes have patients mention various oral health issues during their regular check-in appointments. For example, some patients notice red in their sink or on their toothbrush and will ask, "Why do my gums bleed when I brush or floss my teeth?"
Know that there is no such thing as gum bleeding for no reason. So below, we will discuss reasons why your gums may bleed.
Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. When plaque is not removed through proper oral hygiene, it can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. This inflammation leads to bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing.
2. Pregnancy Gingivitis
Hormonal fluctuations can cause increased blood flow to the gums, making them more sensitive and prone to bleeding.
3. Blood Thinners
Blood thinners work by reducing the ability of blood to clot. The thinning effect of these medications can make gums more susceptible to bleeding during routine activities like brushing or flossing.
4. Changing Your Brushing or Flossing Routine
Changing the way you brush can lead to gums bleeding. For example, applying too much pressure while brushing can irritate and damage the delicate gum tissue. Additionally, using a toothbrush with hard bristles can also contribute to gum bleeding.
5. Not Brushing or Flossing Enough
When we don't brush or floss enough, plaque builds up on our teeth and along the gumline. This plaque contains bacteria that can irritate the gums, leading to inflammation and bleeding. Over time, if left untreated, this can progress into gum disease, causing more severe symptoms such as gum recession and tooth loss.
6. A Poor Diet
A poor diet high in sugary and acidic foods can contribute to tooth decay and plaque buildup, further exacerbating gum issues.
Stress can contribute to gum bleeding because of its impact on the immune system. When a person is stressed, their body releases stress hormones that can weaken the immune response, making the gums more susceptible to inflammation and bleeding. Additionally, stress can lead to habits such as teeth grinding or clenching, which can further irritate the gums and cause them to bleed.
Smoking increases the risk of gum disease, which can cause gums to bleed. This is because smoking weakens the immune system and reduces blood flow to the gums, making them more susceptible to infection and inflammation.
Proper oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment to maintain the health of teeth and gums. The braces or aligners used in orthodontic treatment can create spaces where food particles and plaque can easily accumulate, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Thus, maintaining a clean and healthy mouth can help ensure that the orthodontic treatment progresses smoothly and effectively.