Have you ever noticed blood in the sink while brushing or flossing? Bleeding gums can be a sign of an underlying oral health issue that you should not ignore. Healthy gums should not bleed easily. Also, their tenderness or bleeding may indicate a problem. There are some issues that can cause bleeding gums, not associated with gum disease. Regardless, you should still seek advice from your dentist. Luckily, there are ways to prevent and treat gum disease.
Understanding Bleeding Gums
These are a few of the causes of bleeding gums.
The most common cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease caused by plaque buildup. Plaque contains bacteria that irritate the gums. This leads to inflammation and bleeding. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more severe form of gum disease.
Improper Brushing and Flossing Techniques
Aggressive brushing or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can damage the delicate gum tissue, resulting in bleeding gums. Similarly, incorrect flossing or not flossing can cause irritation and bleeding along the gum line.
Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or puberty, can increase blood flow to the gums. As a result, this can make them more sensitive and prone to bleeding.
Medications and Medical Conditions
Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can contribute to gum bleeding. Medical conditions like diabetes or vitamin deficiencies can also weaken the gum tissues. Weakened tissues can make them more likely to bleed.
Treatment and Prevention
Even if you already have bleeding gums, there are steps you can take to reduce the damage.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
Having good oral hygiene is crucial in treating and preventing bleeding gums. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Gently clean along the gum line using circular motions. Don’t forget to floss daily to remove plaque and debris between teeth.
Use a Gentle Approach
Avoid aggressive brushing and opt for a soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent gum irritation. Brush with light pressure and use a toothbrush with a small head to reach all areas of your mouth.
Regular Dental Check-ups
Schedule regular dental check-ups to detect and treat gum problems in their early stages. Your dentist will assess the state of your gums and provide cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup. They will also suggest the right treatments.
Address Underlying Medical Conditions
If bleeding gums persist despite good oral hygiene, consult your dentist and inform them about any medication or conditions you have. They can also work with your healthcare provider to adjust medications. They can provide other treatment options to manage gum bleeding.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients for gum health. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption also contribute to better gum health.
Professional Gum Treatments
In more severe cases of gum disease, your dentist may also suggest other treatments, such as scaling and root planing. This deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from the gum pockets and smooths the root surfaces to promote gum healing.