There are many reasons your gums could bleed

In some cases, bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease. If your gums bleed easily or bleed when you brush, talk to your dentist about your oral health. Gingivitis is reversible and preventable.

If you’ve just started a new flossing routine, for instance, your gums may bleed at first as they get used to cleaning between the teeth. This usually goes away on its own in about a week. Some pregnant women develop a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness. Gums also may bleed a little when brushing or flossing. If you take blood thinners, these medications may cause your gums to bleed. Contact your physician if the bleeding does not stop quickly. Your gums could also be bleeding if you brush too hard. Use an extra-soft or soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing your teeth.

If your gums bleed regularly or enough to worry you, make an appointment with your dentist or physician. It could be a sign that something else is wrong.

Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and schedule regular dental visits.

Getting oil changes, stopping for gas and going through the car wash are the things you do without a second thought to keep your car in tip-top shape. So what are you doing for your teeth? Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to taking care of the things you depend on most. Get the most mileage out of your mouth by using these strategies in your dental care routine.

Watch What Gets In Your Grill

A grill on a car keeps harmful things from getting under the hood. Think of your own grill as a filter system for your entire body. Everybody’s mouth is full of germs—some good, some bad. The bad ones can cause cavities and gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Severe gum disease is also associated with other medical problems, like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Keep Your Fuel Tank Full

You wouldn’t put just anything in your fuel tank, so be aware of what you’re putting in your mouth. Keep your engine running with a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables.

Practice Preventative Maintenance

Your car won’t get very far without fresh oil and proper tire pressure. Your teeth also need regular care. Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep your mouth healthy.

Get a Tune Up

Taking your car in for a tune up can extend the life of your vehicle and catch small repairs before they turn into big fixes. Regular visits to your dentist and good dental habits can prevent many dental diseases and will keep you smiling for years to come.

Is the taste of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee sometimes a painful experience for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth.

Possible causes include:

Tooth decay (cavities)
Fractured teeth
Worn fillings
Gum disease
Worn tooth enamel
Exposed tooth root

Hypersensitivity

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.
Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.

Sensitive teeth can be treated. The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments:

Desensitizing toothpaste

This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.

Fluoride gel

An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
Root canal. If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.
Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.

Concerns

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

You can help prevent your baby from getting cavities or developing what is called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries, by beginning an oral hygiene routine within the first few days after birth. Start by cleaning your baby’s mouth by wiping the gums with a clean gauze pad. This helps removes plaque that can harm erupting teeth. When your child’s teeth begin to come in, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. For bottle feedings, place only formula, milk or breast milk inside and avoid using sugary beverages such as juice or soda. Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed.

Dental Emergencies

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child’s permanent tooth. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to take your child to the dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.

Here are some tips if your child experiences a common dental emergency:

For a knocked-out tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your child’s cheek and gum, or in milk. Call your dentist right away.

For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
If your child bites his tongue or lip, clean the area gently and apply a cold compress.

For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.

For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.
Thumbsucking

Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may suck on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects. It may help them relax or make them feel safe or happy. Most children stop sucking by age 4. If your child continues to thumb suck that after the permanent teeth have come in, it can cause problems with tooth alignment and your child’s bite. The frequency, duration and intensity of a habit will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. If you are worried about your child’s sucking habits, talk to your dentist or consult your child’s pediatrician.

Space Maintainers

Space maintainers help “hold space” for permanent teeth. Your child may need one if he or she loses a baby tooth prematurely, before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. If a primary tooth is lost too early, adult teeth can erupt into the empty space instead of where they should be. When more adult teeth are ready to come into the mouth, there may not be enough room for them because of the lost space. To prevent this from happening, the dentist may recommend a space maintainer to hold open the space left by the missing tooth.

Sealants

Sealants are a fast and easy way of protecting your child’s teeth that act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves. Sealing a tooth is fast and there is virtually no discomfort. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing but may have to be reapplied if needed. Both primary and permanent teeth can benefit from sealants. Ask your dentist if sealants will help your child.

Mouthguards

Mouthguards can help protect your child from a dental emergency. They should be worn whenever your child is participating in sports and recreational activities. Mouthguards cushion blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. If your child participates in such pastimes, ask your dentist about custom-fitted mouth protectors.

Malocclusion

Malocclusion, or bad bite, is a condition in which the teeth are crowded, crooked or out of alignment, or the jaws don’t meet properly. This may become particularly noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, when a child’s permanent teeth are coming in. If not treated early, a bad bite can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean where teeth are crooked or crowded, increasing the risk for cavities and gum disease.

Bad bites can also:

Affect proper development of the jaws.
Make the protruding teeth at risk for chips and fractures.
Affect eating and speaking.
Make some teeth more likely to wear abnormally or faster than those that are properly aligned.

If you are interested in learning more about Routine Preventive Care, schedule an appointment today with our office, which serves Scottsdale and Phoenix Metropolitan Area patients. You can direct any questions to the office at (480) 998-4867.