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Normal gums are pink and firm to the touch. Unfortunately, anyone can have gum issues from time to time. You’ve probably seen your gums become red and swollen (or bleed) when you brush or floss your teeth too vigorously. If your gums are healthy, they will recover quickly from mild trauma. However, if swollen, irritated, bleeding gums last for several days or longer, there is likely an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

What Causes Red, Bleeding Gums?
Often, red, swollen, or sensitive gums indicate gum disease. According to the ADA, half of Americans 30 years or older have some stage of gum disease. Despite this, there are other things that can cause swollen, bleeding gums, including:

– Pregnancy or hormonal changes
– Bleeding disorders
– Brushing vigorously or flossing incorrectly
– Wearing dentures that don’t fit
– Chemotherapy
– Blood thinner medications
– Vitamin deficiency
– Infections
– Using tobacco products

What Treatments Are Available?
In addition to practicing proper oral hygiene, you can try swishing salt water in your mouth. This can help reduce swelling. If the gums are bleeding, press a gauze pad dipped in ice water or a damp tea bag on the area. Over-the-counter pain medication can relieve any additional discomfort. Do not use Advil, as it thins the blood. If these treatments are not sufficient, visit Clagett Cosmetic and Family Dentistry for a professional dental cleaning, as this can remove tartar and plaque from the area.

We welcome you to contact our dental office in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, at 270-769-3306 today to learn more and to schedule your next visit with our dentists, Drs. Clagett and Milby.