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Flossing teeth

Flossing teeth
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Bleeding gums and dental bleeding

Bleeding from your mouth, tongue, lips or tooth sockets may be caused by dental treatment, dental surgery, an injury or gingivitis.

Bleeding gums

If your gums are bleeding after you have brushed your teeth, the advice below may help.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once just before bedtime.
  • Use floss – your dentist or pharmacist will be able to advise you about this.
  • If your gums are sore you should use a soft toothbrush.
  • Antibacterial mouthwashes (available from your pharmacist) may also help. Talk to your dentist or pharmacist first, as sometimes medical mouthwashes may cause side effects.
  • If you have gum disease (gingivitis), it is essential that you have regular dental check ups. Find your nearest dentist in the National Health Services Directory.

Bleeding after dental treatment

If you start to bleed after dental treatment, or you have a dental bleeding that has been caused by an accident or injury to your mouth or teeth, the advice below may help.

  • Apply pressure over the area with a pad made from a clean, rolled up, cotton handkerchief or other clean cloth that has been slightly dampened with clean water.
  • Keep this pad in place for 15 minutes without removing it. Check to see if the bleeding has stopped. If not, repeat the process and keep the pad in place until you are seen by a dentist.
  • If you are in pain, get advice on pain relief medicines you can take.
  • Avoid very hot food and drinks.
  • If you smoke, try to cut down or quit as it may irritate your mouth.

If you have had dental surgery, or an injury that caused dental bleeding, you should avoid strenuous activity and rest as much as you can for the first 12-24 hours.

Follow any advice you received from your dentist regarding rinsing your mouth and eating and drinking after dental procedures.

Last reviewed: August 2015

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