Going to the dentist isn't any fun, but it is one of those things that just has to be done. For years, I fought the process and didn't go for my regular cleanings and in the end, it sure didn't pay to do so. I ended up spending ten times as much time in the chair and a boat-load of money in dental repairs. If you don't like going to the dentist, you can make it easier on yourself. This blog will show you a few tips that can help you improve the experience and get through the treatment without as much discomfort.
The benefits of regular professional dental cleanings are numerous. They can help both prevent and treat periodontal disease and they may also help lower your risk for oral infections and even cardiovascular disease. It is thought that people who maintain good oral hygiene, including visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and dental cleanings, may be at a lower risk for heart disease.
It is important to note that your dentist and hygienist may perform your dental cleaning with pointed dental instruments that probe your gum tissue and scrape off calculus from your teeth. The probing and scraping motions may cause minor gingival bleeding, however, this is considered normal. If, however, you experience heavy bleeding during your cleaning or if your bleeding is difficult to control, your dentist may suspect the following reasons.
The most common reason for bleeding gums during dental cleanings is gingivitis. Once a consistent pattern of good oral hygiene has been established, the gum inflammation will subside and your gum disease and subsequent gingival bleeding will also resolve. Another common cause for gingival bleeding during a dental cleaning is medication side effects. For example, it is very common for those who take prescription anticoagulants to experience bleeding gums during a dental examination and cleaning.
These drugs can alter platelet activity by reducing platelet aggregation. When this occurs, it may take longer for your blood to clot, causing abnormal bleeding, including heavy bleeding during teeth cleanings. Antihistamines, diuretics, and antihypertension drugs can also cause gingival bleeding during cleanings. These drugs can cause dry mouth, which can raise the risk for bleeding, inflamed, and sensitive gums.
Lowering the dose of your anticoagulant medications can help diminish your risk for bleeding gums. In addition, drinking plenty of water and sucking on sugar-free hard candies can help promote salivary flow so that your gums do not dry out, become irritated, and bleed during your cleanings.
Certain health conditions may also raise your risk for gingival bleeding during cleanings. These include anemia and thrombocytopenia, which refers to low levels of thrombocytes in your blood. When thrombocytes get too low, even the slightest touch can cause excessive bruising and abnormal bleeding.
A gum condition called gingival hyperplasia can also make you more prone to gingival bleeding during a routine dental cleaning. Gingival hyperplasia is commonly caused by antiseizure medications used in the management of epilepsy. It causes the abnormal growth of gum tissue and raises the risk for bacterial infections and gingival bleeding.
If your gums bleed from minor procedures such as teeth cleanings, see your dentist on a regular basis to help ensure optimal oral health. Also, consider making an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss your medications and to find out if your health conditions are the cause of your bleeding gums.
For more information about dental cleanings, talk to your dentist.