What to do for Bleeding Gums

bleeding gumsDo you notice a bit of pink when you spit out your toothpaste after brushing? Does this sometimes happen when you floss? In most cases, this isn’t a huge cause for concern. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush, it may be time to evaluate what’s causing this to happen. Here are some reasons why your gums bleed and what you can do about it.

Be More Diligent About Oral Care
If you’re not brushing and flossing daily, you’re opening the door for plaque and swollen gums. And when plaque lingers on your teeth for too long, it hardens and becomes tarter. Your bleeding gums then get worse and you’re at risk for more advanced forms of gum disease. Take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste. And see your dentist on a regular basis for professional cleanings.

Switch Up Your Diet
Consuming foods that are high in sugar or simple carbohydrates sets the stage for plaque formation. Opt instead for foods low in sugar and high in nutrients you would find in fruits and vegetables. Nutritional supplements can also promote good oral health, so considering adding calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium and fish oil to your diet to boost your immune system and nourish the soft tissues in your mouth.

Kick the Habit
If you smoke, you’re putting yourself at greater risk for gum diseases. The toxins found in cigarettes create inflammation and reduce your body’s ability to fight off disease. What’s more, smoking can trigger enlarged gums which are more prone to bleed. Quitting smoking now can greatly increase your chances for healtier gums and an overall healthy mouth.

Evaluate Your Toothbrush
It may seem like harder, firmer bristles will get your teeth cleaner, but brushing with harder bristles actually causes irritation to your gums, which can promote bleeding. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles in order to get a clean mouth without irritation.

Visit Your Dentist
If the above adjustments don’t help your gums stop bleeding, the next logical step is to see your dentist. He or she can evaluate your teeth and gums to assess whether or not you have a more serious condition like gum disease. By receiving the right professional treatment, you can eliminate your bleeding gums into the future.

To learn more about caring for bleeding gums, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marshall visit or call 540-373-2273. We look forward to hearing from you!

Keeping Your Gums Healthy

preventative dentistryIt’s no secret that brushing daily and flossing regularly are crucial to your oral health. But healthy gums also play an important role in keeping your smile looking its best. Neglecting your gums can cause gum disease, an infection that occurs when plaque is not removed from your teeth by proper brushing and flossing. And gum disease is one of the main culprits for tooth loss in adults. And if left untreated, gum disease can lead to more serious issues like periodontitis. Gum disease isn’t painful, so you may not even know you have it. However, there are other symptoms that could suggest the presence of gum disease, including:

  • Gums that are red or swollen
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth
  • Loose teeth

Improving your overall gum health begins with the right flossing technique. Wrap a piece of floss about 18 inches long around each of your index fingers and hold in place with your thumbs. Then slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it around each tooth in a “C” shape, working the floss up and down. If it feels awkward to use hand-held floss, try a two-pronged floss holder to easily maneuver between your teeth.

Proper brushing technique is also essential for healthy gums. To make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your smile in check, be sure to do the following:

  • Hold your toothbrush properly. To make sure you’re reaching the gumline, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle aimed towards your gums.
  • Use short, gentle strokes. Moving the brush from side to side, use small strokes along the front and back of your teeth and gums.
  • Don’t forget your tongue. Brushing your tongue gets rid of harmful bacteria that lingers in your mouth.

In addition to brushing and flossing, make it a point to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to keep your gums – and the rest of your mouth – healthy.

To learn more about caring for your gums, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marshall or call 540-373-2273. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Periodontal Disease—The Basics

Brunette Fresh FacePeriodontal disease is very common, but it is also very serious. At the early stages the symptoms of periodontal disease can be mild and it can be easily treated—however, at the later stages, periodontal disease can result in tooth decay, damage to your gums, and sometimes, total loss of a tooth. Find out more about periodontal disease and what you can do to prevent it..

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that damages your gums and leads to tooth decay. It is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, but pregnant women, smokers, people with diabetes, and people being treated for cancer are extra vulnerable to periodontal disease.

Signs Of Periodontal Disease

The earlier you realize you have periodontal disease, the easier it will be to treat and eliminate the infection. Common signs include:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A constant bad taste in your mouth
  • Recessed gums or teeth that look extra long
  • Swollen or red gums

Preventing Periodontal Disease

Basic every day habits are essential to preventing periodontal disease:

  • Brush your teeth after meals with a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Rinse out your mouth with mouthwash that kills bacteria
  • Floss every single day between every single toot—especially those at the back that are hard to clean.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Avoid sugary beverages and sticky candy that can make it easier for bacteria to build up in your mouth.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Even those with excellent oral hygiene can get periodontal disease in some circumstances, so it is important to visit the dentist often.


Treatment of periodontal disease varies depending on the severity of the disease. At the early stages, cleaning the teeth to remove the bacteria can often treat periodontal disease. At later stages, you may need medication, root scaling, or more serious treatment. If you think you may have periodontal disease, schedule a checkup with your dentist as quickly as possible.


To learn more about periodontal disease and protecting your teeth, contact Dr. Marshall.