WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE BLEEDING GUMS?
You are brushing your teeth and suddenly notice a bit of pink when you expel the toothpaste in the sink. Or maybe you see some bleeding when you floss. Bleeding gums is a symptom of gum disease. This can also point to other health related issues. While occasional bleeding can be caused by vigorous brushing of the teeth or wearing dentures that don’t fit correctly, frequent gum bleeding can also indicate more serious conditions, including periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease), vitamin deficiency or lack of clotting cells (platelets) etc.
You might disregard ‘gum diseases’ thinking that it only affects older people, and your age group is not at risk. Think again! Between baby teeth and dentures gum issues can settle in silently anytime. Young adults are also at the risk of developing gum diseases if not committed to regular oral care.
BLEEDING GUMS - CAUSES
Causes of bleeding gums can be anything from choosing the wrong toothbrush to gum disease.
Bad oral hygiene: Not taking proper care of the teeth like brushing, flossing etc., can result in tartar and plaque buildup, which may cause bacteria to grow on the gum line resulting in irritation, inflammation and bleeding.
Choice of toothbrush: For those with sensitive gums, using a hard bristled toothbrush may be hard on the mouth.
Brushing or flossing too hard: Pressing the toothbrush too hard does not give deeper clean. Make sure to focus on diligent brushing and flossing that cleans your teeth rather than slicing your gums.
Gum diseases: Bacteria can build up on the gum line and form plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease wherein gums become red and swollen and tend to bleed. Follow a regular oral hygiene routine with the right choice of oral care products to avoid this.
Lack of Vitamin C: Deficiency in vitamins like Vitamin C can cause gums to bleed. Along with vitamin C adding other antioxidants and micronutrients in the diet would also help to keep the gums healthy.
Pregnancy: During pregnancy, hormonal changes make the gums more susceptible to inflammation which may result in swollen gums and bleeding during brushing. This condition is common and known as ‘pregnancy gingivitis’. Following a regular oral hygiene routine, avoiding excess sugar and rinsing the mouth after taking acidic or sugary food can help minimize the effects.
Dental appliances that don’t fit: When dental appliances do not fit well, it can cause rubbing and irritation of the gums making it susceptible to bleeding.
Medications: Certain medications like blood thinners can make the gum susceptible to bleeding.
Step up your Oral Care game: Journal of the American Dental Association mentions plaque to be the most significant cause of bleeding gums. When you don’t remove plaque, it hardens into tartar and starts irritating the gums. This can cause the gums to bleed and also progress into more advanced forms of gum diseases. The best way is to amp up your oral care routine and brush twice a day, followed by flossing and mouth rinsing.
Check your tools: Although it might seem that a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles can clean the teeth better, hard bristles cause irritation which may cause the gums to bleed. Choose toothbrush with soft bristles. Floss regularly; every day and not occasionally. When flossing; avoid pressing the floss against your gums too hard.
Adopt a healthy diet: Food routine and choice of food have an impact on our teeth and gums. Avoid sugary foods, and carbonated drinks. You don’t have to forgo eating sweets, but have them in moderation and preferably with meals. An ideal routine consists of fruits, vegetables and grains to give your gums the nutrients they need.
Avoid smoking: ADA mentions smoking to have a predominant impact on gum health. Toxins in the tobacco can seep into the gums and may also stop the gums from getting the nutrients they require. So, say “Yes” to No Smoking.
Stop sharing: While all the sayings about “sharing is caring” is true, to protect your oral health and overall health, avoid sharing toothbrushes, water glasses etc.
Have regular dental checkups: Schedule appointment regularly with your dentist. This will help to identify any potential threats and also keep the health of your oral cavity intact.
Take good care of your oral health with Dente91 Oral Care.