Everything You Wanted—And Didn’t Want—To Know About Bleeding Gums
If you notice that your gums are bleeding when you brush your teeth, it’s important you don’t just shrug it off.
Yes, it’s common. But that doesn’t make it normal.
The blood that you see is an indicator that there’s something wrong in your mouth. Factors like brushing too vigorously, injury, pregnancy and inflammation are common and simple explanations.
Gum inflammation in general can cause redness, swelling, and tenderness, and can also be a sign of periodontal disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.
Whatever the cause of bleeding gums, to properly treat them it’s important to get to the bottom of the cause. Here are the top 10 ways to stop gum bleeding and to treat them, cause first.
1. Always practice good oral health
Bleeding gums are almost always a direct result of poor oral health allowing plaque to build up along the gum line. Plaque is the soft, sticky film that collects on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. The bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease if they are not removed regularly through brushing and flossing.
2. Use hydrogen peroxide
You might have used hydrogen peroxide to clean out a cut and disinfect a cut, and the same can be done in your mouth when used properly. If your gums are bleeding, rinse your mouth with a glass of water and no more than a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide after brushing—but be sure not to swallow the solution.
3. Watch what you eat
Certain foods can like carbohydrates and sugary goods increase the prevalence of gum disease. These foods encourage and stimulate bacteria growth that can cause plaque to grow. If you choose to eat these foods, then make sure to follow up with brushing and flossing.
4. Increase your Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for tissue growth and repair. If your body has a Vitamin C deficit, your gums might take more time to heal and more prone to swelling. In incredibly severe cases, scurvy can result. This disease causes weakness and bleeding under the skin and gums.
5. Check for underlying diseases
Those with diabetes are at an increased risk for periodontal disease. The best way for those with diabetes to prevent gum disease is to control their blood sugar. While poorly controlled blood sugar could lead to gum disease, it has also been shown that gum diseases raises the amount of sugar in the blood. It’s a vicious cycle. What’s more, diabetes leads to slower wound healing. These factors can lead to in increased chance of experiencing bleeding gums.
6. Are you pregnant?
Gums become more sensitive during pregnancy due to surging hormones, and these surging hormones make you more vulnerable to plaque and bacteria getting lodged in your gum line. Another cause of bleeding gums in pregnancy is a decrease in saliva production, which is also common among pregnant women. Less salvia means bacteria hang on in the mouth longer instead of being washed away.
7. Try salt water
Just like rinsing with hydrogen peroxide, regularly rinsing your mouth with a mixture of warm salt water may also reduce bacteria and stop gum bleeding.
8. Check Vitamin K levels
If you are Vitamin K deficient, your blood may not be able to clot as quickly. Add more foods such as kale and spinach to ensure you are taking in enough of this nutrient. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends that adult men get 120 micrograms and women get 90 micrograms of Vitamin K daily.
9. Don’t smoke
Smoking reduces your body’s ability to combat and heal gum infection, and treatments might not work as well as they do for non-smokers. This means smokers tend to have more severe gum disease and are more likely to suffer tooth loss as a result.
10. Visit your dentist
In all reality, preventing gum disease can be far easier than you think. First, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth every day. In addition, adding a mouth wash routine can help further reduce your chances of harming your gums. And finally, it’s important to visit your dentist twice a year. Since many gum issues remain silent, it could be too late by the time you have symptoms. Don’t wait until it is too late or irreversible damage occurs!