Why do people’s gums bleed?
Generally, people’s gums bleed because they have bacteria around them that are causing them to be irritated. I usually tell people that if your gums bleed when you’re brushing or flossing, that’s a sign that should be very, very alarming. It’s like if you are washing your hands and your hands bleed, that would be something where you’d say “Oh my goodness, something’s wrong.”
The reason why gums bleed is because there are bacteria that are causing them to be irritated and inflamed. That’s a sign that you need to have a little bit of professional help to find out what’s causing that problem and get it to happy and healthy.
What are some of the ways that you would recommend to get rid of the bacteria?
Most times it needs to start with a professional cleaning. Then, after that professional cleaning we can help patients know how they can more effectively clean their teeth at home with brushing and flossing. We want to make sure that it gets down to the point of them not having bleeding.
I once heard somebody say that flossing is like exercise for your gums.
That’s a really, really great description. Sometimes if you have some build up of what’s called calculus or hardened plaque on your teeth, those gums get really, really out of shape. Tetting that calculus off with a professional cleaning is the start. But what you have to do is to condition those gums or strengthen them a little bit. Make sure that all those bacteria get out of the little pocket that’s been created by that calculus and make sure that it fully clean again by flossing at home and brushing effectively.
I usually say that after a professional cleaning, there’s about a week or so where you gums may be still a little bit irritated. But after that, if there is still some bleeding, we need to address it.
And flossing once a day? Twice a day?
Flossing once a day. Brushing twice a day. However, you want to make sure you’re brushing or flossing effectively and sometimes traditional strength floss is not what’s most effective for you. So, that’s where we can take all the tricks in our tool bag and show you maybe you need to use a little interproximal brush. Maybe some floss picks. Something that may be a little bit more individualized to you to be most effective.