Bleeding gums are a common issue brought up during dentist visits every day. Although it’s a common issue, it’s not a normal issue if you practice good oral hygiene. There are many causes of bleeding gums, most of which can be easily fixed, but bleeding gums can also be a sign of a more serious health condition. Today we want to help you determine what might be causing your bleeding gums by giving you some of the top causes.
Gingivitis is a nasty sounding word with an equally nasty effect on your gums. Basically, it’s the earliest stage of gum disease caused by a buildup of plaque along the gum line. Gums become swollen, tender and can bleed during brushing or flossing. Fortunately, gingivitis can easily be fixed with proper brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups.
The human body is a strange and wonderful thing. According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnancy can change how a woman’s body reacts to the bacteria that causes gum disease. This can lead to the same symptoms as regular gingivitis but typically clears up after pregnancy.
Blood thinning medications are listed as a possible cause of bleeding gums by The American Dental Association. Blood thinners are very common and if you are on them, you should let your dentist know. You should also take a gentler approach when brushing or flossing and try using a softer bristled toothbrush or try a Waterpik.
Things like changing your toothbrush from soft bristle to hard bristle or adjusting how often per day you brush or floss, can easily lead to bleeding gums. Just like the rest of your body, your gums get used to a routine and should quickly adjust and get back to normal. If not, maybe the toothbrush you switched too has too hard of bristles. Try switching back to a softer bristled brush. If the bleeding continues, consult your dentist.
It’s recommended that you brush twice a day for two minutes, and floss daily. Deviating from this routine allows bacteria to grow and plaque to form leading to gingivitis. Research shows that taking just one day off from brushing and flossing can cause healthy gums to become unhealthy gums. Brushing every day truly can keep the bleeding at bay.
Having a proper diet effects all parts of your body including your teeth and gums. Some processed foods have been known to irritate gums as well as those pesky popcorn hulls. Plus, vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamins C, D & K and magnesium are all very important to good oral health. A well-balanced diet can go a long way in keeping your gums looking and feeling great.
Yes, stress can be a contributing factor to bleeding gums because stress effects the immune system making it harder to fight off the bacteria that causes gum disease. So, relax, and things could get better.
We all know smoking is bad for your lungs but what about your mouth? Smoking is a major risk factor for sensitive gums and gum disease. If this leads to bleeding gums, bacteria between the teeth and gumline can enter the bloodstream causing more serious issues.
If you’ve eliminated all these common causes but still have bleeding gums on a regular basis, you could have a more significant issue such as a misaligned bite. In rare occasions, bleeding gums can also be a symptom of diabetes, leukemia, hemophilia or thrombocytopenia. If you’re concerned, its best to see a dentist and have them checked out. Remember, the best way to avoid bleeding gums is to brush and floss regularly and see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.