About Your Teeth Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth? - About Your Teeth

Q & A's

Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?

  • periodontitis_illustration
  • Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums are a sign of irritation. Food debris and bacteria that collect on the tooth and irritate the gums. This irritation causes the blood vessels in the gum to dilate. This in turn delivers important immune cells to the area to try and combat the irritation. Swollen blood vessels are more fragile. Tooth brushing around irritated gums causes these blood vessels to rupture producing bleeding. Bleeding gums are a sign that you have a problem. ‘Gingivitis‘ or inflammation of the gums is the most common gum condition. Gingivitis is a reversible condition best managed with good oral hygiene. Persistent irritation and inflammation can cause irreversible changes to your gums and bone. This condition is ‘periodontitis‘ or inflammation of the tooth’s supporting structures. Without treatment the condition can progress and lead to tooth loss.

What can I do?

The first step is to have your teeth cleaned. We would recommend professional and regular clean by a hygienist or dentist. It is important that the tooth root is clean and all the debris removed. A tooth polish after a checkup is not an adequate clean. A thorough clean should take about 45-60min and cost about AU$180-AU$220.

The hygienist will also teach you how to look after your own teeth and how to clean them well. They can also provide you with the right tools to make your cleaning job easier. A lot of people brush their teeth daily but many do not clean their teeth completely with each brush. Attention to detail is important.

Longstanding periodontitis may lead to further loss of bone, increased tooth mobility and eventual tooth loss.

Preventing this is important.

periodontitis_illustration Bleeding gums

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