Dupont Dental - Your Washington DC Dentist

  Contact : 1234 19th Street NW Suite 604 | Call us: 202.296.7714

All Posts in Category: Bleeding Gums

How to Stop Bleeding Gums

Red, swollen, bleeding gums are never a symptom to casually brush off. Maybe you were brushing your teeth and realized your gums were bleeding or maybe you saw blood on your floss. In either case, you were probably anxious to stop your bleeding gums quickly!

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • The causes of bleeding gums
  • How to stop bleeding gums
  • When to see the dentist

Causes of Bleeding Gums

Before you try to stop bleeding gums, it’s important to realize why bleeding gums occur. Below is a small sample of conditions that can cause bleeding:

  • Gingivitis
  • Pregnancy-induced gingivitis: Hormones can cause pregnant women to experience bleeding gums, but usually this resolves after delivery. It is very important to maintain good oral hygiene throughout pregnancy, including continuing with your regular dental cleanings.
  • Vigorous flossing: “Popping” flossing between your teeth can irritate sensitive gum tissue.
  • Side effects of medication: Blood thinners, for example, are known to cause gums that easily bleed.
  • Using a hard-bristled toothbrush: Not only does this wear down your enamel, but toothbrushes with hard bristles can cause your gums to bleed as well.
  • Vitamin deficiency: A vitamin C deficiency, better known as scurvy, can lead to bleeding gums, loose teeth, joint pain, anemia, and slow-healing wounds. Although oral health is affected by scurvy, a vitamin deficiency is better treated by your primary care physician.

What about gingivitis?

Gingivitis is one of the most common causes of bleeding gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Curious how gum disease causes bleeding gums? Here’s the scoop: If you have too much plaque on your teeth, it can build up over time and irritate your gums. As your gums become more irritated by the plaque, your gums will start to pull away from your tooth. This is why your dentist measures the pockets of space between your teeth and your gums. Irritated gums will bleed more often.

The good news is that gingivitis is treatable. You can treat gingivitis by working extra hard to remove plaque, and that includes making sure you are flossing properly once each day. To remove plaque around your gum line, take a piece of floss, insert it between your teeth, and gently “hug” your tooth in a C-shape to floss around the gum line. This will help remove plaque around your gum line, which will eventually help reduce bleeding gums. You might also benefit from a water flosser, which is proven to remove plaque around the gum line.

How to Stop Bleeding Gums

Only your dentist can ascertain the cause of your bleeding gums, and this is the first step is stopping the bleeding. Once you learn the cause of your bleeding gums, you can implement a few lifestyle changes to stop the bleeding.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: If your bleeding gums are caused by using a hard-bristled toothbrush, you will likely see an improvement once you switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Remember to brush with firm but gentle pressure.
  • Floss regularly: Not only will this remove plaque, but it can help reduce bleeding by removing the debris and plaque that is irritating your gums. If your bleeding gums are caused by vigorous flossing, you will see your gums heal a few days after using more gentle flossing techniques.
  • Use a cold compress
  • Try a new toothpaste: Look for toothpaste that specifically formulated to help treat gingivitis. If you need help choosing the right toothpaste, your dentist can make a recommendation for you.
  • Use a mediated mouthwash, available by prescription from your dentist
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash: You can find one in your local drugstore, but your dentist may also be able to prescribe you a medicated mouthwash.
  • Add more dairy products to your diet: According to an article published in the Journal of Periodontology, individuals who include plenty of dairy products in their weekly menu experienced less gum disease and therefore less bleeding gums. Be sure to add milk, cheese, and yogurt to your grocery list.
  • Take any medications as directed: If you have an oral infection, always take your medication as directed. Never stop, start, or alter your dose unless directed to do so by your dentist or doctor.
  • Take a nutritional supplement: This should be done under the direction of your physician if your bleeding gums are due to a vitamin deficiency

However, some causes of bleeding gums are not so easily remedied at home. If you need to take a medication that results in sensitive or bleeding gums, the remedy isn’t quite so easy. If you cannot stop taking your medication, you’ll need to look at other ways to stop the bleeding and soothe the gums.

  • Try swishing salt water: This helps promote gum healing. Take 1-2 teaspoons of salt and dissolve it into one cup of warm water. Swish and rinse.
  • Brush even more gently: This is particularly important if you are on blood thinners and your gums are extra sensitive.

When to See the Dentist

Bleeding gums can be caused by poor oral care hygiene practices (i.e., brushing too hard) or by an underlying medical condition (vitamin deficiency or gum disease). Because of this, it’s always a good idea to receive a proper diagnosis form your dentist. As mentioned earlier, gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, but it is much easier to treat gingivitis than advanced gum disease.

Let Us Help You

Do your gums bleed every time you brush your teeth? Are they red, swollen, and tender? Don’t delay treatment. Get the care you need. Contact us today!

Read More

What You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease and Treatment Options

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tooth’s structures. These include the ligaments, gums, bone and tissues that are necessary for good oral health. Bleeding and swollen gums are early signs of gums that have been infected with bacteria. According to a study by researchers at the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) performed in 1999, about half of Americans over the age of 30 experience bleeding gums. What’s even more surprising is the fact that many people think this occurrence is normal.

Stages of Gum Disease

In fact, the presence of bleeding and swollen gums is a sign that you could have the first stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis. This is caused by a buildup of plaque that occurs at the gum line. Plaque is a sticky substance that can form on the teeth. If plaque isn’t removed regularly, the body’s immune system releases substances that are an attempt to oust the bacteria. This reaction from your body is what causes the bleeding and swollen gums that mark gingivitis. It’s at this earliest stage that gum disease can most easily be reversed.

Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease. It is at this stage that the bones, tissues and fibers that support your teeth are damaged. Periodontitis is marked by pockets that form below the gum line. Though gum disease cannot be reversed at this stage, there is much that a dentist can do for a patient with periodontitis. Improved oral care at home performed by the patient, as well as specialized dental treatment, can often help reduce further damage.

The final stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. It is at this late stage that the other, supporting structures of the teeth are damaged. These bones, ligaments and fibers are destroyed which can lead to your teeth becoming loose or shifting in your mouth. Not only can this adversely affect your bite, it can also require that those teeth be removed.

Treatments for Periodontal Disease

For people who have gingivitis, there is still hope of reversing the disease. With good daily oral care at home in the form of proper brushing and flossing — as well as regular professional dental cleanings — gingivitis can be reversed.

Once gum disease reaches the periodontitis stage, though, professional intervention is necessary in order to save the teeth. Scaling and root planing is a treatment that is performed at the dentist office to scrape and remove the tartar and plaque from the root surfaces and the teeth. Afterward, these surfaces are smoothed to remove any roughness that can provide a welcoming place for bacteria to settle and flourish. Scaling and root planing is a procedure that could take more than one dentist visit to finish. Eventually, the gums heal and then reattach to the clean surfaces of your teeth.

There are other treatments available for advanced gum disease. Have you had a regular cleaning at Dupont Dental lately? Contact us today to make an appointment and to obtain an evaluation of your oral health!

Read More
8 things you need to know about bleeding gums

8 Things Many People Don’t Know About Bleeding Gums

It doesn’t matter whether you are disciplined with your teeth cleaning regime or not. Almost everyone will have bleeding gums once in a while. But, if that happens on a regular basis, it’s likely you may be suffering from gum disease.

Believe it or not, some people aren’t aware of gum disease, how it occurs, and what it can do. The good news is that it’s possible to do something about the problem. If you’re not sure why you’ve got bleeding gums, these eight reasons might be the cause:

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

It might sound like we are stating the obvious here. But, if your oral health is poor, you’re more likely to suffer from bleeding gums. There are many ways to reduce the likelihood of that happening. For instance, use an electric toothbrush for brushing. And use a water pick for flossing.

2. Unhealthy Food and Drinks

It’s both easy and convenient to eat and drink processed foods. Plus, there is an abundance of drinks with high sugar content in them. Apart from making you fat, they can also cause you to have bleeding gums. Why? Because you aren’t boosting your immune system with the right nutrients.

3. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause all kinds of health problems, one of which is lung cancer. Smoking can also do bad things to your teeth too. It can cause fibrous and enlarged gums. And that allows bacteria to thrive and cause bleeding gums. What’s more, that bacteria can attack your body’s vital organs through the bloodstream.

4. Stress

We all know that stress can make us feel unproductive, depressed and exhausted. What you may not know about stress is that it can impact the health of your teeth too. Stress can prevent your immune system from being strong enough to fight gum disease.

5. Genetics

One fact that surprises many people is that genetics can play a part in people having bleeding gums. More than a third of us have a genetic “marker” that makes us predisposed to bleeding gums and gum disease. It’s possible to get DNA testing to check for that marker. And the good news is there are many treatments to lower the risk of bleeding gums.

6. Misaligned Teeth

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a strict teeth cleaning regime. Some things beyond your control can cause you to have bleeding gums. One of those is misaligned teeth. They can affect supporting gum tissue and bones, causing your gums to bleed.

7. Side Effects from Medicine

Have you ever looked at the notes that come with your medication? They will list a whole host of side effects that you could have. Some drugs can affect blood flow to tissue. As a result, it means your gums could have less protection against bacteria.

8. Gum Disease can get Transmitted through Saliva

Last, but not least, kissing someone with gum disease could cause you to have it too. That’s because the bacteria can get transmitted through saliva! Another way you could get infected saliva is if you share a toothbrush with someone.

Read More
White teeth at home

Tips for Whiter Teeth

Stains and discoloration on teeth can happen when people age, but many other causes have nothing to do with age, such as food, drinks, medications and even mouthwashes. Visiting the dentist for an in-office teeth whitening treatment is a safe, effective way to remove surface stains and brighten your smile, but there are also steps you can take at home to prevent discoloration and maintain a healthy mouth.

Foods for whiter teeth

Eating crunchy foods including apples, carrots, pears and celery trigger saliva production that helps wash away food debris from your teeth. You can also chew sugarless gum to trigger saliva, and it’s also a tooth-cleaning action. Saliva neutralizes the acid in your mouth that can cause tooth decay and cavities that discolor your teeth and damage oral health.

Whitening dental work

When you have existing veneers, fillings, crowns, bridges or bonding, store-bought tooth whitening products will not whiten the artificial teeth, which means they’ll be obvious against your whitened natural teeth. Whitening your entire smile when you have these types of dental treatments requires a visit to the dentist to investigate options for new dental work including bonding and veneers.

Preventing stains and discoloration

Avoiding and preventing stains and discoloration in the first place, is the best way to keep teeth white and healthy. Over time, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away revealing the yellower dentin underneath. Whitening teeth too often can make them appear blue or translucent, so it’s important to know what substances can cause stains including tea, coffee, dark soda, fruit juices, red wine, blackberries, blueberries, and beets. Brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking staining foods and if that’s not possible, rinse with water. Sports drinks are another oral health offender as they can erode tooth enamel with frequent, long-term use. If you consume sports drinks, don’t sip them for extended periods of time, and rinse with water when you’ve finished the drink.

Avoid tobacco use

Smoking and other tobacco products are horrible for your teeth and cause brown stains that may be impossible to remove with just brushing. The longer you use tobacco, the deeper the stains and smoking and tobacco use cause gingivitis, bad breath and increase the risk of many types of cancer. Do your oral and overall health a huge favor by looking into ways to quit smoking and other tobacco use.

Medication stains

Although medications are often necessary for maintaining a person’s health, they can lead to teeth stains and discoloration. Certain antibiotics, blood pressure medications, iron, antihistamines and excessive fluoride can cause tooth stains. Some antibacterial mouthwashes with particular ingredients can cause tooth stains, so consult with your dentist if he or she prescribes these. When bleaching isn’t enough to remove stains, dental bonding can help brighten teeth.

Daily oral care and dental visits

Maintaining good oral hygiene every day is a simple, easy way to prevent stains and discoloration while maintaining a healthy mouth. To further protect your shiny teeth, you can brush after every snack and meal as this prevents yellow teeth and stains, especially along the gum line. Traditional toothbrushes work, but sonic or electric toothbrush can provide superior cleaning and removal of surface stains and plaque from teeth. Visiting your dentist for regular checkups is also important, and the abrasion and polishing methods they use during professional cleanings helps remove many common tooth stains caused by food and drink.

For safe, fast and effective teeth cleaning, visit Dupont Dental for our in-office teeth whitening treatments.

Read More