Tooth whitening is a useful cosmetic procedure that can restore your overall smile and even improve the health of your teeth. Indeed, removing intrinsic and extrinsic stains from your teeth can address a wide variety of underlying issues, such as negative dietary habits and tooth infections.
In some cases, patients have problems with bleeding gums when they seek a tooth-whitening procedure. Is it wise, or possible, to have your teeth whitened if you have a problem with bleeding gums?
Causes of bleeding gums
It is first important to understand how bleeding gums arise and how they can affect a tooth-whitening procedure. The following are some of the most common causes of bleeding gums.
Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of bleeding gums. It often manifests itself in disorders such as gingivitis. It occurs as a result of plaque that accumulates in the gum line and causes the gums to become tender and swollen.
You may, therefore, experience bleeding gums when brushing or flossing.
There are certain foods that may irritate your teeth and gums, resulting in infection or bleeding. For example, foods that are hard to chew and have sharp edges may prick the gums and result in tenderness. Extremely hot or cold foods also irritate the gums and may trigger bleeding.
Taking blood thinning medications
If you're taking blood thinners, you may also be at risk of bleeding gums. These medicines make it harder for the blood to form clots, resulting in easily bleeding gums.
Teeth whitening with bleeding gums
If you have a problem with bleeding gums, it is often advisable to solve the issue before having your teeth whitened. Indeed, tooth whitening involves a series of procedures that can further irritate your gums during the process. In fact, some whitening procedures (such as in-office whitening using bleaching agents) cause the gums to become tender as part of the recovery process. If you have a problem with bleeding gums, it is likely that the procedure may result in further irritation. Furthermore, patients with periodontal disease may have loose teeth that can eventually begin to fall off if the condition is not treated. Therefore, tooth whitening in such cases would be ineffective.
It is often a good idea to have a dentist address your bleeding gums before carrying out tooth whitening. Luckily, most issues with bleeding gums are related to hygiene or dietary options and can be addressed in a short amount of time. Consider your ambition towards tooth whitening as an opportunity to address your pre-existing condition.