That terrible swirl of red that joins the toothpaste as you brush, making you cringe as you rinse it down with cool water. It is often accompanied by sore and swollen gums afterwards. Gum bleeding is an aggravating and upsetting condition that affects many people. It can occur while brushing your teeth or eating an apple or in some cases, softer foods. When it happens in public, it is a huge source of embarrassment and can affect your self-esteem and how you perceive yourself.

But what causes this to happen? Where is the blood coming from, and what can be done to stop it?

Bleeding gums are primarily caused by incomplete plaque removal. This can be from missing sections of teeth when brushed, to not brushing at all. Plaque contains germs and bacteria that eat at and attack the healthy tissue of the gums, especially in the crevices between teeth. When left there, it makes the gums irritated and inflamed, which causes the bleeding.

If left unchecked, bleeding gums can turn into gingivitis, which can develop into more serious forms of gum disease.

Reasons for Bleeding Gums

There are other reasons for your gums to bleed that are not quite as intense. If you have recently changed your flossing routine, or if you have purchased a new toothbrush, you could be causing the irritation. Most especially with the electric toothbrushes, you might have to give your mouth some time to adjust to the new brush and in that adjustment, there might be some irritation and bleeding. This reason for bleeding gums is not a major cause for concern unless it does not stop within a few weeks. If the bleeding does last longer than that, it is recommended that you see your dentist, so they can evaluate the problem.

Gum Disease Treatment

Another benign issue is that you could be simply brushing too hard. In the quest to have the cleanest healthiest teeth, you could be damaging your gums, which are just as crucial to your dental health. Gums protect your teeth and nerves and prevent bacteria and plague from getting down and rotting out your teeth from the inside. Gums are delicate tissue and constant vigorous scrubbing with a hard or medium bristle brush can cause inflammation and bleeding. By irritating your gums, you are making it easier for bacteria to get in hard to reach places. Making sure that you use gentle, circular motions when brushing your teeth can alleviate this problem, as brushing back and forth can further irritate your gums.

Bleeding gums can be signs of serious dental issues and you should see your dentist as soon as possible when you experience it. That way you can receive the best treatment to prevent it from turning into more serious gum diseases.

The best prevention for bleeding gums is a regular brushing, flossing and rinsing routine and regular check-ups and cleanings with your dentist.  It is an uncomfortable condition, but it is treatable and not something that you have to suffer with.