Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth? If so, the following list may help you determine why it’s happening to you:

  • Poor or inadequate oral hygiene
  • Lack of consistent brushing and flossing
  • Lack of regular professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist (every 3 to 6 months)
  • Systemic disease, such as diabetes and cancer
  • Medications that cause gum bleeding, such as high blood pressure medications
  • Fillings, caps, or crowns that don’t fit properly and trap bacteria
  • Orthodontic malocclusion (misalignment, overlap, or overcrowding of the teeth)
  • Active periodontal infection that causes pus and bleeding
  • A fractured tooth that allows bacteria to invade the area

There are many reasons why your gums may bleed. Nearly all of the symptoms above have some connection to oral hygiene habits, or the lack there of. Without proper and thorough dental hygiene, it’s incredibly easy for bacteria and plaque to buildup at the gum line, increasing your risk of infection, tooth loss, and gum disease.

The best thing you can do to protect your teeth is to visit your dentist regularly. At his family and general dentistry practice, Dr. Corbet Locke will screen your mouth for signs of decay and infection at every dental checkup and cleaning you have at his dental office. If caught in the early stages, gum disease and other oral health problems can be treated effectively, and Dr. Locke will work with you through every step of your treatment.

Just brushing your teeth once a day isn’t enough. As a family and preventive dentist, Dr. Locke recommends the following:

  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes at least twice a day. Once after each meal is even better.
  • Floss after breakfast and before bed. If you can only floss once a day, do it before you go to bed so that bacteria doesn’t take advantage of your mouth while you sleep.
  • Use a fluoridated mouthwash or oral rinse to cleanse your mouth of plaque and bacteria.

To schedule a dental exam and cleaning, call Dr. Locke’s dental office in Waco, Texas at (254) 776-4888.