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At the dental practice of Dr. Thomas Ouellette, we want our patients in Denver, Colorado, to know that healthy gums are as important to your smile as your pearly whites. So what can you do if your gums are bleeding?

1-Oral Hygiene: brush at least twice each day, and consider using an electric toothbrush as it can massage the gums to allow nutrients into the gums by stimulating blood flow. Next, floss at least once daily to remove dental plaque—a biofilm comprised of bacteria and waste products. If you don’t enjoy flossing, consider getting a water flosser to remove bacteria between the teeth. Keep up with routine maintenance by seeing your dentist regularly for dental cleanings to remove tartar (hardened plaque).

2-Healthy diet: limit sugar and increase your intake of vegetables. If you do eat sugar, try to brush your teeth soon after to limit the exposure to your pearly whites.

3-Medications: certain medications, such as blood thinners, can cause bleeding of the gums. Your doctor may switch medications or alter the dosage to help you. Certain medications can also interfere with saliva flow and cause dry mouth which allows bacteria to thrive.

4-Smoking: if you smoke, the toxins can actually interfere with your gum’s ability to receive nutrients and can cause inflammation. As the gums bleed, harmful bacteria which live along the gumline can enter the bloodstream via the ulcers in the gums and travel to your organs to cause inflammation.

5-Bacterial Contagion: this one is a little trickier, bleeding gums are actually contagious due to bacteria. If you or your partner has a lot of oral bacteria, avoid sharing drinks and touching toothbrushes together.

To help you with bleeding gums, Dr. Thomas Ouellette may recommend periodontal maintenance. This may involve coming into our office once every three months for a professional cleaning. We clean both above and below the gum line, removing plaque, tartar and bacteria to prevent the condition from worsening. We may also suggest improved at-home oral hygiene and antibiotic treatment. For more information, call us today at 303.296.1402 and let our team bring back your healthy smile!