You noticed a little blood on your toothbrush after brushing your teeth. Or maybe you noticed a little pink on your sink. Is it serious? What caused your gums to bleed? It’s easy to assume that you saw these signs because you brushed too hard, but these are signs you shouldn’t ignore, especially if you haven’t had them before.
The Cause of Blood on Your Toothbrush
While it’s entirely feasible that the blood you saw on your toothbrush is because you brushed too hard, it can be due to a more severe cause.
Bleeding is significant, not just for your oral health but also for your general health. This is because bleeding allows bacteria to enter your bloodstream, which may cause infections. The bacteria can further cause new sites of inflammation around your body, hence risking your general health and worsening any diseases you might have.
Here are eight more reasons why you shouldn’t ignore blood when brushing.
Gingivitis is a dental condition that is in the early stages of gum disease. It occurs when the plaque that piles up on the surface of the teeth and gums is not cleaned for too long. The gums fail to stick firmly to the teeth due to the build-up of plaque in between, which can cause bleeding whenever the gums are touched. Other common signs of gingivitis include bad breath, red gums instead of pink, etc.
The good news is, gingivitis, when realised early enough, can be reversed. Your dentist can help scrape away the plaque build-up and bacteria. To prevent this disease, you need to follow the right oral hygiene such as visiting your dentist every six months. You must also brush and floss at least twice a day. When brushing your teeth, make sure you do it gently on the gum line. Visit your dentist if the bleeding persists. If ignored, gingivitis can worsen by causing more bacterial infections.
2. Gum Disease and Tooth Abscess
Like gingivitis, gum disease is another reason that may cause your teeth to bleed. The cause of gum disease is a bacterial infection, which may occur if you don’t clean your teeth for a few weeks. When your gums are infected, they start swelling. This may cause discomfort when eating, drinking, or talking. If the condition isn’t treated, the gums may recline, causing blood to be present in your mouth.
A tooth abscess can be another cause of your gums bleeding. When your teeth start to decay, substances like plaque and tartar form on the surface of the tooth. These substances erode the teeth until the inner layers are exposed, causing blood to appear in your saliva. Unfortunately, not much can be done to reverse this condition. Your dentist might have to fill the tooth or extract the entire tooth from its sockets.
The blood you noticed on your sink could be caused by the various factors of medicine. Blood-thinning medicine used to treat diseases such as heart attack and stroke could be the cause of bleeding gums.
Aspirin also can increase the risk of bleeding gums because they slow down the clotting process. If such medicines are prescribed to you, it’s wise to tell your doctor about your oral medical history. Your doctor might recommend a different dental care routine to stop bleeding gums.
Pregnancy alters the body in so many ways. It may surprise you that hormone changes trigger increased blood flow to your gums. This can lead to the development of pregnancy gingivitis.
When you are pregnant, your gums may swell and become overly sensitive. These signs may be the cause of your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth. While this condition might stop shortly after pregnancy, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
5. New Dental Routine
If you are using a new type of toothbrush, your gums might start bleeding. Mostly, if you have switched from soft bristles to hard bristles, your gums are trying to tell you to take it down a bit.
Most dentists recommend the use of a soft-bristled toothbrush because they are easier on your gums. Therefore, if you are bleeding from the use of hard-bristles, switch back to soft ones. Your teeth should stop bleeding after a few days when you do this.
Similarly, if you have a new floss routine, your teeth could bleed. If you used to floss before but stopped, you have likely forgotten how to do it correctly, which might cause bleeding. Flossing regularly and accurately should stop the bleeding within a short duration.
6. Poor Diet
Some processed foods may irritate your gums and cause them to bleed. Avoid hard snacks such as crisps. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives such as fruits and vegetables. Also, make sure your diet includes calcium, Vitamin C and D, and magnesium.
7. Poor Oral Hygiene
It might surprise you to learn that just one day off your proper oral care can cause bleeding. Research shows that a minor lapse in oral hygiene can cause healthy gums to bleed like diseased ones. The good news is that the gums can stop bleeding within a few days of good dental habits. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, to prevent the build-up of plaque, bleeding gums, and other dental diseases.
Stress could be the reason your toothbrush was stained with blood. Living in a constant state of anxiety and agitation compromises your immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight off any gum diseases such as bleeding gums. Stress can also cause inflammation in your blood vessels, which can lead to soft tissues in your mouth. This can further slow down your process of healing. Try managing your stress levels whenever possible.
Follow these guidelines to avoid bleeding gums. However, nothing beats getting regular check-ups from a qualified dentist. Get in touch with Vellore Woods Dentistry for all your dental needs.