Do Your Gums Bleed After Brushing? Causes and Solutions

It can be all too easy to ignore a small amount of blood after brushing. If this happens on a regular basis it can be a sign of a significant dental problem. It might also be the case that you're not using the most appropriate tools for cleaning your teeth. So what are some of the most common reasons for bleeding after brushing? And what can you do about it?

Your Oral Hygiene

Being negligent with your oral hygiene can lead to an accumulation of plaque. If left untreated, this plaque can lead to a mild inflammation of the gums. As plaque is essentially a microscopically thin layer of bacteria, the resulting inflammation (gingivitis) is a bacterial infection. Once it's taken hold, it can be difficult to treat yourself. Bleeding gums are one of the most common symptoms of gingivitis. You are most likely to notice this after brushing or flossing, even if you feel that you did not apply undue pressure. Severe gingivitis can result in gums that bleed with even the most gentle of touches. Your gums might also be noticeably sore or irritated and can appear visibly swollen.

What You Can Do: If you believe you are suffering from gingivitis, then you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will scale your teeth, which is an intensive cleaning in which the plaque is safely buffed off the surface of your teeth. If your gums are too sensitive for a scaling treatment, a low-intensity laser can achieve the same effect. Your dentist will also advise you on the best oral hygiene regime to ensure that the gingivitis does not return.

Your Toothbrush

How hard is your toothbrush? Perhaps you regularly use the hardest available brush in the belief that this will be most effective at cleaning your teeth. While the brush will certainly do the job when it comes into contact with your teeth, you need to remember that it will be just as hard on your gums. If you are not a likely candidate for gingivitis and yet still notice blood after brushing, then your toothbrush might simply be too hard. A harder brush is not always the best option.

What You Can Do: You should change to a toothbrush of medium hardness and this will probably fix the problem. If you don't feel that a toothbrush of medium hardness cleans your teeth as deeply as you would like, then consider an electric toothbrush with an ultrasonic feature. The head of the toothbrush vibrates, creating ultrasonic waves that dislodge plaque without applying much pressure.

Your Flossing Habits

It's all too easy to apply too much pressure when flossing. You're trying to dislodge a particularly stubborn piece of debris, the floss is forced through the applicable gap in your teeth, and your gums are the casualty. Flossing is an important part of oral hygiene and yet you might not do it on a regular basis simply because it can result in bleeding.

What You Can Do: Consider switching to a water flosser. This is a device that shoots a concentrated jet of water between the gaps in your teeth. It dislodges debris and is infinitely more gentle than manual flossing.  

You don't have to put up with bleeding after brushing. Fortunately, the cause can quite easily be addressed. Visit your local dentist for further information and tips.