Q. My gums bleed when I brush them, even though I take proper care of them and brush twice daily. What could be the reason?
A. There are many reason gums bleed when brushing. The most common reason is gingivitis, which is usually reversible with good oral hygiene. Once a good oral hygiene regime is in place that includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, there is normally resolution in the bleeding. However, if you are already doing this, then I suspect that there is tartar under the gums that needs to be professionally removed. For treatment, you should go to a good dentist or dental hygienist for a proper cleaning. It may take more than one visit and could require you to be numbed for it to be done comfortably. Remember, bleeding gums are NOT healthy—they are part of a disease process. Gingivitis is the precursor to periodontitis, a more serious gum disease. It is important to get bleeding gums treated quickly before permanent damage is done. There is one common exception to this: if you are pregnant, a hormonal issue may cause the gums to be inflamed. Keep up oral hygiene practices and once the baby is born, your gums should return to normal.
Mark D. McOmie, D.M.D.
McOmie Family Dentistry
5999 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421