Thrombocytopenia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low platelet count. Platelets are blood cells that are essential for clotting, so without enough of them, you will bleed easily and will have a harder time stopping the bleeding. This can cause problems throughout your body, and your mouth is no exception. Thrombocytopenia can make your gums bleed, and when this happens, it's hard to keep up your oral care routine. Here are three tips for caring for your mouth when you have thrombocytopenia.
Use a softer tooth brush
When you have thrombocytopenia, your gums bleed easily, so you need to choose a toothbrush that won't aggravate your gum tissue and cause bleeding. Your dentist may tell you to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. If even a soft-bristled brush causes bleeding, you may need to use a sponge toothette, instead. Sponge toothettes are similar to toothbrushes, but instead of bristles, they have sponges; these sponges are more delicate on your gums.
Dentists generally recommend flossing your teeth at least once a day, but when you have thrombocytopenia, this can be dangerous. This is because it's easy to cut your gums while you're flossing; this bleeding may be hard to get under control. The other issue with flossing while your platelets are low is that it predisposes your gums to infections.
Once your platelet count has returned to a safe level, you'll be able to start flossing again. Your dentist will let you know when it's safe to resume flossing.
Use a mouth rinse
If you're not able to brush and floss due to excessive bleeding, you still need to find a way to keep your mouth clean. Your dentist may tell you to use an antiseptic mouth rinse until your platelet levels have returned to normal. Mouth rinses aren't a permanent substitute for brushing and flossing, but for short periods of time, they can help control bacteria inside your mouth as well as provide some protection against cavities and gum disease.
Your dentist may recommend an appropriate over-the-counter mouth rinse or prescribe you a stronger mouth rinse, depending on your needs. Your dentist will tell you how often you should use the product. Make sure to start brushing and flossing again as soon as it is safe for you to do so.
Thrombocytopenia can make it hard for you to keep your teeth and gums clean, but with the help of your dentist, you can maintain your oral hygiene routine. For further information or advice, go to websites of dental establishments in your area.