Although many people are resigned to seeing blood when they spit out their toothpaste, bleeding gums are not healthy and patients do not have to live with them. At Advantage Dentistry in Kenmore, Dr. Seier and his staff are equipped to help patients recover from gum disease, but patients should understand their condition so they can take preventive measures.
Bleeding gums are nearly always the result of gingivitis, which is low-grade gum inflammation. This is the result of a bacterial infection. As bacteria build up in the gum pockets, they produce plaque, which clings to teeth near the gum line and hardens into tartar. Acids stick to tartar and irritate the gums. Brushing regularly helps to keep tartar at bay, but a brush with hard bristles can bruise the gums. This is why gentle, but thorough use of a soft-bristled brush is recommended.
Pregnant women are at particular risk for gingivitis due to hormonal changes. People on blood thinner medication or who suffer from dry mouth (a common medication side-effect) also are at increased risk for bleeding gums. It is especially important for these people to maintain regular appointments so professionals can clean their plaque and gum pockets.