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Why Your Gums Bleed During And After A Dental Cleaning

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If you come away from a dental cleaning with bleeding gums, you might be tempted to sue your dental hygienist. After all, he/she performed a service wherein you were injured (it hurt) and the procedure drew blood. Actually, attempting to sue over this would cause quite a backlash, as bleeding gums are a common occurrence during and after a dental cleaning, and it has very little to do with the hygienist's efforts to clean your teeth. Here is why your gums bleed during and after a dental cleaning. One (or more) of the following reasons apply to your cleaning experience.

It Has Been Too Long Between Cleanings

Technically, you should have a dental cleaning twice a year, or every six months. This ensures that the tartar/plaque and bacteria in your mouth are effectively removed to reduce cavities and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). If you last had a cleaning a year ago (or longer), you should expect some discomfort and bleeding, as this amount of time between cleanings has allowed the tartar and plaque to build up on your teeth. The hygienist has to increase his/her efforts to scale it off and remove it. Getting under the gum line for plaque and tartar at this point will cause some bleeding.

You Have Severe Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the dental term given for inflammation of your gums. In the initial stage there is a little bleeding while brushing. In the second and third stages, the inflammation is much worse, and the bleeding increases. Pain in your gums is also exacerbated by the infection. In the final stages you experience tooth loss. If you are not yet losing your teeth, but your gums hurt and bleed during a dental cleaning, you may have severe gingivitis. It is still reversible, but only if you increase your efforts to keep your mouth and teeth clean through frequent flossing and brushing and through regular dental cleanings.

Your Teeth Fit Very Tightly Together

If you have ever noticed how difficult it is to floss between certain teeth, then you have teeth that are A) too big for your mouth, and/or B) teeth that fit too close together. When a hygienist encounters these kinds of teeth, it takes a bit of strength to get the dental floss in between these teeth so that they are properly flossed. Sometimes the hygienist has to push so hard to get the floss through that he/she causes the floss to lightly cut into the gum tissue.

Pain and bleeding ensue, but this is not the fault of the hygienist. The fault lies in your own teeth, as they are either too large for your mouth, or too close together. (On a side note, you can correct this problem with adult braces, which would in turn halt the issue of pain and bleeding gums after a hygienist flosses your teeth.)

You Have a Big Piece of Food Stuck in Your Gums

Have you ever noticed that when you get a bit of meat or a popcorn shell stuck under your gums that your gums almost immediately begin to swell up? The food particles are big enough for your gums to retaliate. Your gums react to these bits of food in the same way an oyster or clam reacts to a grain of sand. They go to work trying to contain the irritation they feel.

If you currently have some gum tissue that is really swollen like this, there is a very good chance you have a big food particle stuck in a gum pocket. When the hygienist flosses this area, it removed the large food particle and smaller traces of it. Your swollen gum tissue is relieved of the pain, it bleeds a little because of the built-up pressure, and then finally relaxes in size.

For more information about how to properly take care of your mouth so that your gums bleed less during cleanings, talk to a dentist at offices like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock.