Bleeding gums are a common concern for people. If performing any task, like brushing and cleaning between your teeth, and bleeding occurs, often times, people will make the assumption they did something wrong. A person will believe they pressed too hard, poked the gum tissues, or caused some type of trauma when they were cleaning their gums and teeth. This is usually not the case.
When we wash our hands, if they start to bleed, this would be abnormal and a sign of a cut or infection. The same goes for your gums. If they are bleeding when you are caring for them, this is a sign of infection or inflammation. Unless you know you did in fact cause trauma or maybe you poked the gum tissues when eating, bleeding gums are a sign that you need to pay MORE attention. We wouldn’t ignore an area of our hands that started to bleed. We would gently, but thoroughly, clean that area until it healed. This should be the same for any areas that bleed in the mouth.
There is a tendency to focus more on the tooth surface when cleaning teeth but really, we should be focusing on the gum line. This is where harmful bacteria will create infection and if not removed daily, will cause tiny ‘cuts’. When you brush or touch those ‘cuts’ you create bleeding. This is a very simple way to explain the disease process caused by bacteria but imagine if you left that cut on your hand dirty. It would never heal, and this is what is happening when the bacteria are left on the tooth and gums too long.
Cleaning your teeth and gums has become a major factor in keeping the mouth and body healthy. The next time you see bleeding when you are caring for your mouth, don’t shy away. Instead, investigate further! Be gentle but thorough with your cleaning routine. You may need to incorporate an additional tool to effectively clean the areas you see are bleeding. Be sure to see your dental professional and let them know when and where you see these signs of inflammation.