Do you notice your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth? This is a common problem for many people and can be a sign of gum disease. Bleeding gums are a problem that millions of Americans have to address regularly. It may be due to poor oral hygiene or an underlying systemic condition such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. Simple ways to treat your bleeding gums include brushing and flossing daily, using an antiseptic mouth rinse, and avoiding tobacco products.
Causes For Bleeding Gums
This is a common problem caused by several factors. It is important to understand the causes of bleeding gums to determine what is causing them and how to prevent them from occurring again.
Poor Oral Hygiene
This is one of the main causes of bleeding gums, as it accumulates bacteria in plaque on your teeth. It is caused by not brushing your teeth regularly, not flossing enough, and not visiting the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings. This bacteria irritates your gums, causing them to become red and swollen and more susceptible to bleeding when you brush your teeth or eat something cold or spicy.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that occurs when bacteria irritate the gum tissue. This results in redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums.
Braces Or Other Dental Work In The Mouth
Braces and other dental work in the mouth can cause bleeding gums by causing irritation and inflammation of your gums, leading to bleeding. If you’re experiencing bleeding gums due to tooth wear, it’s important to get them checked by a dentist so they can be treated.
Overuse Of Tobacco And Alcohol
Tobacco products dry out your mouth, making it harder for the saliva to wash away food particles and bacteria that cause plaque. Alcohol also makes it harder for saliva to do its job because it contains chemicals that kill off the good bacteria in your mouth.
Hormonal changes can cause your gums to bleed. You may experience this after starting a new birth control pill or if you are pregnant. If you’re going through menopause or have started taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), your hormones may affect your gums. HRT can make your gums more sensitive and cause them to bleed when brushing or flossing.
If you notice your gums bleeding, you should see your dentist. They may recommend that you stop taking your birth control pills or start taking prenatal vitamins, if necessary.
If you don’t eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, you may have bleeding gums. Vitamin C helps heal gum disease and promotes new growth, so if your diet lacks this essential nutrient, you may experience bleeding gums.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing too hard can cause you to damage your gum tissue and expose the roots of your teeth, leading to bleeding gums. When you brush too hard, you scrub away the gum tissue’s protective layer that protects your teeth from bacteria and other irritants.
Abscesses or growths in the gums
If you have an abscess or growth in your gums, it can be very painful and may cause bleeding gums. An abscess is an infection under the skin when bacteria enter through a crack or cut in your mouth. An abscessed tooth can cause pain, bleeding gums, and swelling around the gum line.
Preventing Bleeding Gums
The best way to prevent bleeding is by keeping up with your regular dental visits at least twice a year. Your dentist can check for any problems in your mouth and ensure everything is healthy, which can help prevent bleeding gums.
The other ways to stop bleeding gums is by using good oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing regularly. If you have bleeding gums, you should not brush too hard because this can make them worse instead of better. You should also avoid smoking because smoking tobacco damages your teeth and gums over time, leading to bleeding gums and other issues like tooth loss or gum disease (periodontal disease).
What Is The Best Way To Treat Bleeding Gums?
Bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease but can also be a symptom of other conditions. A dentist will tell you if you have gum disease and the treatment options available.
There are several ways that you can treat bleeding gums, including;
- Brushing and Flossing Regularly – This prevent plaque buildup and keep your teeth clean. You should also avoid smoking and drinking excessive coffee or tea, as these habits can cause your gums to recede over time.
- Avoid Chewing On Ice And Hard Foods – These can irritate your gums or break down the protective layer around your teeth.
- Chewing Sugar-Free Gum – Chewing gum after eating helps prevent plaque buildup because saliva helps break down food particles and wash away bacteria before they can stick to your teeth. Saliva also washes away food particles after eating so they do not stay on your tooth surfaces longer than necessary.
- Use Fluoride Toothpaste – Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent decay. It also reduces the risk of gum disease.
Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and exams. Your dentist may recommend antiplaque rinses or other products during these visits if you’re having trouble controlling bleeding gums on your own.
When Should I Contact My Dentist?
Although there are many things that you can do at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy, there are times when you should visit a dentist.
Contact your dentist if:
- You have pain or discomfort in your mouth, face, jaw, or neck.
- Your teeth feel loose or wobbly.
- When you brush or floss, your gums are red, swollen, or bleed easily.
- You notice any changes in the color of your teeth or gums.
- You have a toothache that does not go away after two days of taking over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
- You feel something is stuck between your teeth or under the gum line.