Article by Dr. Leaver & Dr. Gardner
When wearing braces, there are many dental issues you need to look out for. From demineralization and sensitivity to plaque, tartar and bad breath; it’s important to be vigilant in your dental health routine. Today, Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics wants to address another dental problem you may experience while wearing braces; bleeding gums. It can be quite alarming to see your gums bleeding but don’t panic. It’s a good idea to determine the why so you can best stop it from happening!
New toothbrush can cause bleeding gums. Toothbrushes that have firm bristles can be hard on gums. If your new toothbrush is making your gums bleed, check the package to see what kind it is. The toothbrushes you buy should always be soft. Some people think that soft bristles won’t clean as well as firm but that’s not true. They clean just as well. Make sure you use the proper brushing technique and that you don’t push too hard. Pushing too hard can damage the gums especially if they’re sensitive to begin with. Braces wearers are quite susceptible to sensitivity and will find soft bristles less irritating to receding gums. Once you get your braces off, it is also a good idea to not brush too hard as you adjust to not wearing them anymore.
Medications can cause dry mouth and bleeding gums. Some medications will make gums more prone to sensitivity that can cause them to become inflamed which can lead to bleeding. Other medications cause blood thinning which can lead to gums bleeding as well. Check the side effects of the medications your are taking to see if it’s one of the side effects. You should always continue with your medication but be a little gentler when brushing until the medication cycle is complete.
Gum disease. If your gums are red, swollen and tender it could be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease can be caused by other factors but usually it’s due to poor oral hygiene. And oral hygiene is something braces wearers struggle with. You have the additional challenge of cleaning around the gum line with braces which means you should be especially vigilant. Gum disease is also called periodontal disease that happens when there is an excessive buildup of plaque. Having good oral health practices is the surest way to keep gum disease away. This means brushing teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing daily.
Poor Oral Hygiene. Braces wearers who don’t brush their teeth on a regular basis can also have gums that bleed more easily. Teeth that are neglected have gums that become more swollen and inflamed because plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth for longer periods of time. Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that forms on teeth after we eat which is why good oral care helps gums remain healthy.
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