Having good oral health is about more than just keeping your teeth clean; it’s important to pay attention to the health of your gums as well.  If your gums become painful and swollen, or you see blood in the sink after you brush, it could be a sign that you’re in the early stages of gingivitis.  Left unchecked, bleeding gums can progress into more serious conditions like periodontitis and tooth loss.  Here are a few tips from ZDental about steps you can take to correct the situation if you are experiencing bleeding or painful gums.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Gingivitis is caused by plaque bacteria living between the gums and teeth.  These bacteria produce harmful biproducts that can damage your gums.  If you want to avoid any issues, you will need to make sure you clean away those bacteria every day.  This starts with brushing twice per day.  Take special care to clean every tooth surface as well as the area where your teeth and gums meet.  Flossing and using mouthwash will take care of the areas between your teeth.  As you go about your daily oral health routine, carefully inspect your teeth for plaque along the gumlines and do your best to keep it in check.  Don’t worry if you can’t get rid of every speck; your dentist can take care of the rest at your next checkup.

Change Your Toothbrush and Brushing Technique

Painful or bleeding gums could also be caused by your brushing technique or by using the wrong toothbrush.  If you’re using a brush with medium or hard bristles, get rid of it!  These types of bristles can be rough on the delicate gum tissue, causing it to swell up and bleed.  Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, soft bristles are your best option.  Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in a circular motion (rather than back and forth).  A gentle grip will prevent you from brushing too hard.  Once you change your brush and technique, your gums should start healing up within a week or two and pain or bleeding should be minimal in the future.

Schedule a Dental Appointment

If you have improved your oral health routine, changed your toothbrush, and developed a better brushing technique, your issues may be more serious.  Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Bensalem, PA and be sure to discuss the problem with them.  A routine cleaning may be able to remove hard-to-reach plaque along the gumline and regular cleanings every six months will keep things in check over time.  If you are starting to develop gingivitis, your dentist will be able to make recommendations on how to prevent it from progressing any further.  Of course, if your gingivitis has already progressed into full-blown periodontitis, you may need surgery to correct the problem.

Have questions about your gum health?  ZDental can be a valuable resource for you.  We have five different locations in the Philadelphia area and New Jersey, so visit our contact page to find the one closest to you!  Call us to schedule an appointment or to ask questions about any oral health issues you may be experiencing.  The health of your teeth and gums is important to us, so don’t hesitate to get in touch any time you’re having problems.