If you see pink in the sink after brushing or flossing, usually there is some form of inflammation or infection in your mouth that needs attention. In a smaller amount of cases, it means you are brushing or flossing too aggressively and hurting your gums. In both of these cases, it is essential to visit your dentist/ dental hygienist to determine the cause of bleeding and address the problem. More often than not, bleeding gums are caused by gum inflammation and gingivitis.
Gingivitis is gum inflammation due to the accumulation of oral bacteria. Gingivitis can occur from lack of adequate brushing and flossing, leading to the growth of bacteria. The body will send blood, which contains white blood cells, into the gums to fight the bacteria, but unless the bacteria is manually removed with a toothbrush and dental floss, the gum inflammation will persist. When gums are inflamed, they appear more red and puffy and often will bleed on touch. If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an inflammation of the bone and supporting structures of a tooth. Periodontitis results from untreated gingivitis. The heavier the plaque build up, and the longer the plaque is left, results in an immune response. Gum pockets begin to form between the teeth and gums, and eventually, tooth mobility will occur. There is a strong link between periodontitis and overall health.
Gingivitis, and subsequently periodontitis, is highly preventable with a good oral home care regimen including brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and regular professional dental cleanings. It is vital to prevent the build-up of bacteria on your teeth before it causes inflammation in your gums. If you notice bleeding, red/puffy gums or a bad taste in your mouth, it is essential to visit your dentist/ dental hygienist to address the problem.