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Side Effects When You Clean Teeth

author image Kristie Jernigan
Kristie Jernigan is a health writer with over 17 years of experience as a medical social worker. She has worked mainly with the elderly population and with children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in health care administration and gerontology from the University of Phoenix.
Side Effects When You Clean Teeth
A mother and daughter brushing their teeth. Photo Credit: MIXA next/MIXA/Getty Images

Cleaning your teeth is essential to dental health. According to Dr. Dan Peterson with Family Gently Dental Care in Gering, Nebraska, proper brushing is essential because it helps to remove plaque from your teeth, prevent calculus, and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. However, even with the best efforts you can still suffer some side effects of brushing.

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Bleeding Gums

One problem with brushing your teeth is that it can sometimes make your gums bleed. When you push, the bristles of the toothbrush work into the gums. In addition, using dental floss can also cause bleeding in the gums. Bleeding can also occur when you suffer from gum disease because gum disease causes the gums to become tender and easily bleed. Bleeding gums can open areas up and make them susceptible to bacteria and even a bacterial infection invading your blood stream. If you suffer from frequent bleeding gums when you brush, tell your dentist.

Bacterial Invasion

Your mouth contains aggressive bacteria, according to the website Gum Recession. According to Peterson, toothbrushes also contain high amounts of bacteria. As a result, cleaning your teeth can be dangerous if you suffer from periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause receding gums and allow bacteria to get into your blood stream. If you have this condition and you brush your teeth, you can accidentally push bacteria into your blood stream, and this can cause a severe infection. Some types of dental bacteria can even cause blood clots to form and invade your lungs or heart. If you suffer from gum disease, you need to see a periodontist regularly for treatment.

Open Sores

When you brush too hard, you can damage your gums and cause open sores or ulcers to develop. This can occur more easily in children and older adults because they have skin that is more fragile. These ulcers can be painful and make eating, drinking and chewing food excruciating. It is better to brush longer than to brush harder. According to Kids Health, it is especially important to use soft-bristled brushes, especially for children, to keep from creating sores on the gums.

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