Is it common for gums to bleed when
Whether your gums bleed at home when you floss or at the dental office when being cleaned or examined by the dentist and/or hygienist, it's usually not a good sign: bleeding gums are an indicator of inflammation at the gum line. Inflamed gums are definitely more likely to bleed when worked on or around — like when our hygienists are flossing and scaling your teeth.
the dentist cleans them?
Should I panic if my gums bleed during a dental visit?
The short answer is, "no." The most common cause of bleeding gums is inadequate brushing and flossing, which leads to accumulation of bacterial plaque (which hardens to tartar) where the teeth meet the gums. In this case, inflamed gums are referred to as gingivitis, which is treatable and controllable. A regular routine of at least twice-daily brushing and flossing daily will most likely keep plaque at bay, and your gums won't get irritated. If you keep up that good routine, you're not likely to notice bleeding at your next checkup.
When do I need to worry about bleeding gums?
If left untreated, though, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a condition in which tissue is so seriously inflamed that it results in loosening and potential loss of teeth.
There are other causes of bleeding gums, some more serious than others:
If we notice your gums bleeding during an office visit, we'll discuss it with you and try to determine the cause. If your gums are bleeding when you brush and/or floss at home, please give us a call to set up an appointment. It's always better to catch dental problems early, when you have a better chance of fixing them.
- Medical conditions such as diabetes and leukemia
- Pregnancy and puberty
- Malnutrition or iron overload
- Medications such as aspirin, heparin, or other blood thinners
- Regular cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing
- Extremely high stress levels
For more information about gum disease, check out our other FAQs and the Gum Disease page on this site.
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