Oral health is a significant aspect of everyone’s overall well-being. It’s not uncommon for people to experience bleeding gums from time to time. However, continued bleeding gums can indicate a more serious oral health issue that should be addressed immediately, such as gum disease. The good news is that there are several measures to help stop bleeding gums and improve your oral health.
Brushing and flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and regular dental exams are a few ways to stop bleeding gums. Bleeding gums aren’t always an immediate concern, but it’s important to respond to them with proper dental health habits.
What Causes Bleeding Gums?
If you’ve been slacking on your dental hygiene, you may notice bleeding as you correct the habit. This is especially true with flossing and bleeding gums. As long as the bleeding stops soon after you finish flossing, it’s not usually a serious concern. Occasionally, you may need to change to softer floss and adjust your flossing technique.
However, persistent bleeding could indicate something else, such as gum disease. There’s no harm in being extra careful and letting your dentist know if you have bleeding gums, as bleeding gums could be caused by a variety of possible health issues.
You eat well for your heart, immune system, and eyes—but you should also eat well for your teeth! You may already know the importance of limiting sugary food and drinks to reduce your risk of tooth decay, but good nutrition can also help you maintain healthy gums and prevent bleeding.
Some medications, particularly blood-thinning medications, can increase your risk of bleeding gums. Blood thinners can lower your blood’s ability to clot, meaning even simple activities like brushing teeth or flossing can lead to bleeding gums.
If you notice consistent bleeding while brushing or flossing after starting a new medication, you may want to consult your doctor to determine if there’s an alternative medication.
One of the primary causes of bleeding gums is a lack of proper oral hygiene. When you don’t brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily, bacteria in your mouth can multiply and form plaque. Plaque buildup can lead to gingivitis, causing your gums to bleed.
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that can result in tooth loss.
Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause can also cause gingivitis and bleeding gums. Pregnancy-related hormone changes are also associated with gum inflammation and bleeding. Maintaining proper oral hygiene during these times is essential, as is visiting your dentist for routine checkups.
Preventing Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums can be worrying, but the good news is many steps you can take to prevent them are also essential to maintaining good oral health. That’s a double win!
Brush & Floss Regularly
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once daily. This simple routine helps remove food debris, bacteria, and plaque in your mouth.
It’s true when you first start brushing and flossing after a lengthy break, your gums may bleed. Still, usually, you need to simply work through it. In time, your mouth should get used to the sensation, and the bleeding should fade.
If your gums continue bleeding, you should visit a dentist for a checkup to determine the cause.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Using a hard-bristled toothbrush can lead to gum irritation, which can cause your gums to bleed. A soft-bristled brush can be gentle on your gum tissue as it removes stubborn plaque and debris in your teeth and gum line.
Smoking is not only harmful to your overall health but can also damage gum tissue and lead to gum disease, a significant cause of bleeding gums. Nicotine and other harmful substances in cigarettes can increase the amount of tartar buildup and limit blood flow to your gums, leading to gum disease and periodontitis.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other essential nutrients can benefit oral and overall health.
Foods like citrus fruits, leafy greens, and dairy products that contain high levels of vitamin C help strengthen your gums. Other foods like nuts, fish, and lean meats that contain essential minerals like calcium and magnesium help prevent gum inflammation and bleeding.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining healthy gums. During your exam, we can detect the early signs of gum disease and treat them before they become more severe.
A professional cleaning helps remove plaque in areas that are difficult to reach with regular brushing and flossing. Tartar, the hardened form of plaque, can only be removed by a dental professional using specialized instruments, and it’s vital to remove it before it causes more severe issues.
Proactive Care for Everyone
Bleeding gums may not always be serious, but they shouldn’t be ignored. It’s important to brush and floss every day, even if you notice momentary bleeding.