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Dr. Nicole Answers: “Why are my gums bleeding?”

If your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss, should you be concerned? 

“There are many common things that cause gums to bleed such as gingivitis, pregnancy, flossing or brushing too hard and certain medications, along with plaque build up.    Frequent check-ups and cleaning by a professional is the best way to stay on track with your oral hygiene and remove the plaque and bacteria that can cause irritation and bleeding. However, if bleeding continues it is always best to check with a dentist!” says Dr. Nicole Fulp.

If you’ve just started a new flossing routine, for instance, your gums may bleed at first as they get used to cleaning between the teeth. This usually goes away on its own in about a week. Some pregnant women develop a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness. Gums also may bleed a little when brushing or flossing. If you take blood thinners, these medications may cause your gums to bleed. Contact your physician if the bleeding does not stop quickly. Your gums could also be bleeding if you brush too hard. Use an extra-soft or soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing your teeth.

If your gums bleed regularly or enough to worry you, make an appointment with your dentist or physician. It could be a sign that something else is wrong. 

Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and call Fulp Family Dentistry to schedule regular dental visits.